The Penguins got some good news Saturday when Patric Hornqvist joined the team for morning skate at PPG Paints Arena.

Hornqvist, sidelined since offseason hand surgery, wore a white, non-contact jersey. Afterward he reported no problems and was optimistic he’d be able to return to the lineup soon.

“It’s fun to be out there again with the boys,” Hornqvist said. “We’re taking it step-by-step. It feels better every time I step on the ice. We’re getting closer every time I go on the ice. Hopefully pretty soon I can play.”

The Penguins are off Sunday and practice Monday and Tuesday of next week before a back-to-back set on the road at Washington and Tampa Bay.

Assuming a good recovery from Saturday’s activities, the next step for Hornqvist would be to take contact, successfully absorb that, then become a game-time decision.

“We’ll get him more involved physically as we get the direction from our medical staff,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “Once that happens, then he becomes a game-time decision. The fact that he’s joining our team in this kind of capacity is an indication that he’s a whole lot closer.”

Hornqvist said he has surgery to remove “a few screws” roughly two weeks ago. Although he skated with the team eight days before the start of training camp, Hornqvist said “nothing happened” at that session to force any sort of surgery.