CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Gabriel Landeskog is back on the ice for the first time all season.

The Avalanche’s captain had undergone a knee cartilage transplant last May after missing the entire 2022-23 season. There is hope he could return in the postseason or early next year, but nothing is guaranteed. On Thursday, Landeskog skated with some of his teammates at Colorado’s optional morning skate. It’s simply the next step in a long road towards a potential return.

“There was never really a set day,” head coach Jared Bednar said, addressing if Landeskog was on time with his recovery. “I’m sure there are some things that bother him that he doesn’t do and then it’s just going through that process and then eventually it’s getting on the ice and doing what you can do without any discomfort and kind of moving on from there and just keep building. So I don’t think there was ever really a set timeline on when you get on the ice. We know that he’s still a long way out.”

Landeskog hasn’t played since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 26, 2022. Last season, Landeskog attempted a late-season comeback before eventually announcing that he would shut it down with just a few weeks left in the regular season. Nearly a month later, it was announced that he’d miss the entire 2023-24 regular season after electing to go the cartilage transplant route.

Even without a clear timeline or a guarantee that he’ll play again. This time still feels different for the 31-year-old.

“I think it’s different because he’s gone through the surgery and he’s gotten repaired,” Bednar said. “I think there was probably a little bit more uncertainty last year. I mean, you’re going to try and avoid a major surgery like that at all costs. So the first step was to do everything you could possibly do and try to return to skate and it made great progress. But it just plateaued at a certain level that wasn’t good enough to be able to come back and play, short-term or long-term. So then the next step was the surgery that he decided to have.

“I’d say there’s more optimism this time around because he’s been surgically repaired.”