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Bears' Sam Anas battles back from abdominal surgery

Anas's return has provided Hershey with a spark as Calder Cup playoffs loom.

HERSHEY, Pa. — With the home stretch of the season here the Hershey Bears are happy to have one of their best scorers back on the ice after a lengthy rehab process.

"Anas will give it back to McMichael, in front to Anas... he scores! Sam Anas back on the scoreboard!" called out Bears play-by-play man Zach Fisch. 

No one is happier to hear those calls than Sam Anas himself.

“It’s awesome just being back with the guys full-time," he told FOX43. 

After a three-plus month absence due to abdominal surgery, Anas made his return to the Bears on St. Patrick's Day at Lehigh Valley. Right out the gate, he made sure his presence was not only seen but also heard. 

"Cross box to Anas who [shoots] and scooooreeeessssss," bellied Fisch on the microphone for the Bears radio call. “Welcome back Sam Anas!”

A welcome back it was as Anas netted the game-winner in his first game back for the Bears.

"Definitely felt great, but the best part was the guys' reaction," Anas smiled as he recounted the moment. "They were all super pumped for me, [when] I got back to the bench after I scored and gave our trainer Shawn a big hug, so I am sure it meant a lot to him too but it was pretty cool the hockey gods are on my side."

It is not just the hockey gods, but his teammates as well.

“We were all just really excited. He came through the line and he got a lot of love," said defenseman Aaron Ness. "It was good to see and obviously he is a heck of a player and he will continue to do those things.”

Ness is spot on. Since Anas’s return on March 17, he has scored three tallies in four games, helping the Bears rack up six points as they battle for the Atlantic division title. 

It's a fight he was eager to get into.

“Watching from afar, not being around on practice days as much, it's just good to be around the guys,” Anas said.

Three months away from the game, where the only competition is yourself against your own body is tough for anyone. To come back and return to the ice without a slip-up is quite impressive. 

The key for Anas?

“I think patience was definitely valuable, the last thing you want to do is rush back and start from square one," he said. “Just focus on little goals, I think our training staff did a great job of helping me get back and keeping me mentally fresh, which was really nice.”

Ness, who has dealt with injuries himself, knows how tough it is to come back and be at full speed right away.

"A testament to him, he battled back every day. [He] come[s] in and do[es] the work, it was great to see and it is good to have him back," he told FOX43. 

The Bears will count on Anas and his ability to score as they look to bring home the Calder Cup to Chocolate town.

Download the FOX43 app here. 

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