Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. (Feb. 17, 2011)

Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. (Feb. 17, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Though defenseman Andrew MacDonald, back from hip surgery, regularly is given “maintenance” days — skipping practice on days after games — he was back on the ice Wednesday with no ill effects and described his limited workout routine as nothing more than wise caution.

“After you go through games and stuff, it just tightens up a little bit,” he said. “Just kind of give a day of rest here and there. In October, the schedule is kind of light, so it’s a good time to take advantage of it.”

The surgery involved scraping off a bone spur, he said, and left him on crutches for four weeks and off skates for another three months. In training camp, “I had to be aware of when it started to tighten up a little bit, then had to back off a little bit.

“Pretty much the whole rehab was to strengthen the muscles around it; there are some pretty small ones around in there and they get tired pretty quick. It’s feels great now.”

In the meantime, MacDonald gained some medical knowledge. “I did a couple of apps on my iPad just to figure out where everthing was, trying to explain it all. I tried to study up to look after myself a little bit.”

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