Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson - who has been out since Feb. 13 with a 70 per cent sever of his achilles tendon and the subsequent surgery - skated with regular defensive partner Marc Methot at practice on Wednesday, leading to speculation that he may be back ahead of schedule. At the time of the injury, the team feared that Karlsson would miss three to four months but last year's Norris Trophy winner was cleared for contact by doctors last week. Should he play on Thursday in Washington against the Capitals, it would be 10 weeks to the day since the injury occurred.