BROSSARD - Scott Gomez was back on the ice with the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday after missing the start of the NHL pre-season with a lower body injury, believed to be a sore groin.

Coach Jacques Martin, who rarely gives precise information on injuries, said the veteran centre will play either Friday night in Ottawa or in a return game Saturday night in Montreal.

Later, the team posted the lineup for Friday night's game on its website, and Gomez was on it.

Gomez said the soreness is gone.

"I wouldn't be out there if it was (still sore)," he said. "I'll find out the lineup and hopefully I'm in it."

When asked what the injury was, Gomez smiled and said "my pinkie."

Gomez, Montreal's highest-paid player, is coming off a brutal season of only seven goals and 31 assists in 80 games. He changed his off-season training regimen and has vowed to play better in 2011-12.

The 31-year-old skated with Max Pacioretty and prospect Brendan Gallagher, then worked with last season's linemates Pacioretty and Brian Gionta on the power play.

Martin said defence prospect Brendon Nash had shoulder surgery on Wednesday and will be out indefinitely. Forward David Desharnais is also out with a lower body injury.