Noah Dobson is just happy to be back with the Islanders. And to be healthy.
The defenseman is set to play his third game since being cleared from the COVID-19 protocol list when the Islanders face the East Division-leading Capitals on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Dobson missed eight games. He was set to play on March 14 against the Devils at Prudential Center but was pulled from the lineup after taking pre-game warmups and placed into COVID protocol.
"It was definitely tough, especially mentally, just being by yourself, isolating and being away from the team," Dobson said after Monday’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow in his first public comments since returning. "I’m just grateful to be back healthy and back with the guys."
Dobson confirmed that he was essentially asymptomatic despite testing positive.
"That’s pretty accurate." Dobson said. "I’m fortunate in that way. I know it affects people in different ways. I’m just grateful I had a real mild case and I’m glad to be back healthy and back with the guys."
Dobson spent some time skating on his own before rejoining his teammates for practices. But he said it was not difficult to regain his playing shape.
"I just tried to listen to the medical experts and follow protocols," Dobson said. "Whatever they felt was best for me, I went off of that. I feel good out there now. I’m just really happy to be back."
Dobson declined to answer whether he knew how he had contracted the illness.
Sign up for Newsday’s Islanders texts with a 14-day free trial at newsday.com/islestext.