The defenseman had arthroscopic hip surgery in March and, as he told me today, the full rehabilitation process takes six months. That takes him to the end of this month, so it wasn't a surprise that he was off the ice on Saturday as his teammates went through conditioning tests and a few drills.
"This is part of the plan," MacDonald said after the team went through a day of off-ice workouts and meetings. "It's going to be a bit of a feeling-out process, but I think we're going to take it slowly and that's good."
MacDonald skated often with the Islanders veterans at IceWorks over the past 2-3 weeks, but took scheduled days off as needed. "I was skating fine, not overdoing it or anything," he said. "It's just about being smart and knowing that this is the right way to handle this."
Also, C Marty Reasoner said he may have twisted his knee during Saturday's conditioning skate. He left the ice early on Saturday and said he may try to skate on Monday, though probably not with his regular group when the first full training camp practice begins in the morning.