When the Blackhawks take the ice Friday for their first scrimmages of training camp Marian Hossa and Bryan Bickell are expected to be right in the middle of them. The wingers have recovered sufficiently from injuries that limited them during the Hawks' run to the 2013 Stanley Cup and have been cleared for contact. Hossa avoided surgery for a disk problem in his back that caused numbness in his right foot during the postseason and said he is ready to go. "I'm skating much easier so I'm ready to see how it goes" Hossa said Thursday after the first on-ice session of camp at Notre Dame. "In the gym I have to compromise (with) some exercises (and) I can't do everything (but) the most important thing is how I feel on the ice. So far it's good." Hossa now has a routine of stretching and exercises to strengthen his back but that beats the alternative of surgery. "I had a couple of shots during the summer on my back" Hossa added. "Basically lots of rehab on it making it stronger. That was the key. When they told me I don't need the surgery I was happy and that was a good decision so far." Meanwhile Bickell said he still has stiffness in his left thumb after having surgery to repair a torn tendon suffered during the playoffs. "I feel like it's ready to go and we'll test it out this week" Bickell said. "If you tear a tendon it's going to take awhile to come back. It's getting better and better and I feel comfortable that I'm ready." The avid fisherman said his passion for that sport helped the rehab process.