As reported below by Big Shooter (via Vivlamore), Kovalchuk participated in full practice today. After seeing Viv's twitter update, I saddled up and headed to Duluth to see the Czar's progress with my own eyes and report it to you.
Kovy appeared to be skating perfectly normally and participated in all the drills I watched. The couple of caveats were that in a drill in which a forward and defenseman battled along the boards, Popovic conspicuously laid off Kovy while others battled in earnest. In maneuvering however, Kovalchuk didn't seem to favor either foot. On one stop (on the right foot) I thought I noticed him stutter step away, but that could have been my imagination. He later skated around gliding on the bad foot and continued to make turns and stops on it with no apparent problem.
Ben Wright has updated his Twitter page with a note that Coach Anderson is 95% sure the Czar will be in the lineup with the Thrashers take to the ice in Madison Square Garden Thursday night.
Obviously getting Kovalchuk back this quickly (and posting a 3-3 record without him) is a big boost to the team. The Rangers' biggest star, Henrik Lundqvist, is questionable for Thursday night, so the team has an opportunity for a big morale boost.
The one bit of bad news from practice is that Evander Kane was nowhere to be seen. Chris Vivlamore informed me that someone posted a comment on his site that they thought Evander took a puck off the foot and came up injured Sunday.