As Ottawa Senators defenceman Marc Methot closes in on making his long-awaited return to the lineup, the club’s brain trust is busy contemplating the follow-up move.

Methot, who hasn’t played either a regular season or exhibition game this season due to a backside injury, spent Monday’s practice in his old home, paired with captain Erik Karlsson. Assistant general manager Pierre Dorion classified Methot’s status as “day to day”, saying that Methot will return to game action when coach Paul MacLean believes he’s in game shape.

Methot wasn’t talking Monday, but Karlsson spoke for him.

“This was probably his first real practice and he said he felt really good,” said Karlsson. “He’s (making) progress. It’s frustrating being out right from the start of training camp, but it’s just nice to have him around.”

Methot began skating with the team on the Western Canadian road trip and Karlsson says that was a promising sign.

“He’s a key player on our team and it’s something that stung us a bit when he got hurt in training camp. We’ve been doing great without him, but when he comes back, we’ll be even a better team.”

Something, however, has to give.