Erik Karlsson was back on the ice Tuesday at the Bell Sensplex, but whether he'll be able to return to the Senators this season remains a big question.

While optimism reigned supreme Monday after it was revealed the club's best defenceman has been skating for more than a week after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles, there are no guarantees he'll actually play before the end of the year.

Karlsson left without speaking to reporters after his 45-minute twirl where he took shots at club physician Don Chow — one of the doctors who performed the surgery — along with Jason Smith and equipment assistant Mike Foley.

It didn't look like Karlsson had the same zing on his shot — mind you, Chow might tell you differently — but he was moving around just fine and even skated in front of the television cameras that were told to stay at the far end of the rink.

But, Karlsson did confirm to Aftonbladet's New York-based correspondent Per Bjurman in a brief phone conversation he has been skating for awhile and is encouraged. But he didn't sound like he's completely comfortable.

"It gets better every day, but it's still a strange feeling to skate," Karlsson said.

Karlsson suffered the cut when he was clipped by Matt Cooke's skate on Feb. 9 during a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.