Ed Jovanovski has only played six games as the captain of the Panthers and although he is attempting to come back from major hip surgery there are no guarantees that he will play another NHL game.

Jovanovski 37 has been diligently rehabbing and skating all summer yet there’s a trace of uncertainly as to when or if he will play again.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good. It’s almost like I’ll feel comfortable to play in a game when I have that thought. There’s no pressure from anyone on the outside’’ Jovanovski said Thursday after skating with the team on the first day of training camp.

“I do want to play again and that’s in my mind. I’ll do everything I can to play again.’’

Jovanovski said the next step is taking and giving hits on the ice and he hopes to test the hip in some sort of game action in about a week.

“Timing … has been a pleasant surprise and everything is on track’’ said Jovanovski who has played 1025 games over 16 seaons with four teams. “The next step is getting involved physically and see how everything holds up.

“As a few weeks go on I think it’s going to get better and see how it goes from there.’’

Jovanovski underwent the surgery last April and he admits he had some doubts about ever lacing on the skates again.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have doubts’’ he said. “I had no option but to have it fixed. I’m happy where it is right now. My quality of life is definitely a lot better for me. But my passion is to play hockey and I think I’m going to do it.’’

Panthers coach Kevin Dineen went through a similar process when he was 39 and unsure if his body could withstand the pace or rigors of a full 19th NHL season.