Daniel Alfredsson has not ruled out a return this season.
The Ottawa Senators captain has been sidelined with a back injury since Feb. 7, but is hopeful he will be able to return for at least a handful of games.
"It's still getting aggravated," said Alfredsson, who has skated a couple of times this week. "I lose strength in my right leg and it goes back to back spasms and the nerve gets involved and causes problems."
Alfredsson is hopeful that with some additional rest the problem will get resolved. The 38-year-old would like to play a few games in order to have a better understanding of what he might be dealing with in the off-season. He hasn't ruled out the possibility of surgery.
Alfredsson has experienced similar problems in the past, but was usually able to deal with it through treatment.
"It's been a little bit different this year. It got to a point where I felt in games I didn't have the strength, especially in battles. I found myself compensating a lot of times and off balance."
The year has been frustrating for Alfredsson who hates being unable to contribute at the level he's accustomed to.
There have been numerous changes to the Senators roster since Alfredsson was last in the lineup and he admitted seeing some of those changes was difficult.
"It's been very sad," he said. "We don't think we should be in this situation, but we just haven't performed well enough to justify us staying together and get ourselves out of this."
With just two years remaining on his contract no one would blame Alfredsson if he sought out an opportunity to play for a contender, but he says he has no such interest.
"I have such strong ties here," he said. "I can't see myself, even though I would like to win a Stanley Cup, but not with another team."
Alfredsson even admitted that he's comfortable with the knowledge that he may end his career without ever winning a Stanley Cup.
"It's probably a likely situation with where I am," he said. "I would love to (win a Stanley Cup). I'm not totally ruling it out, but it might be tough with the direction we're going.
"I would love to win a Stanley Cup, but not by going to another team."
Instead the veteran looks forward to acting as a mentor to the many young players who will likely be making up a good portion of the Senators roster next season.
"It's a different challenge, but with my experience I think I can do a lot for the young kids coming in and hopefully make that process a lot quicker than it might have been otherwise."