Polina Edmunds returns to the ice this week at 2017 Finlandia Trophy. It will be the first competition for the 19-year-old since January 2016. Edmunds was sidelined a month later with a bone bruise on the navicular bone in her right foot, which was caused by her jumping too soon in new boots.

The California native returned to the ice in November 2016 but was forced to take more time off when the bone bruise returned. “I took time off completely from November to March when I started skating again. In June I started jumping all of my jumps again,” she said. “It’s only been a few months since I’ve been able to do that, so it’s a slow and hard process. But I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m doing really well.

“Coming off my injury, it’s been really difficult and very challenging to jump back in and race against time for the trials. I’ve been training all summer and progressing throughout, trying to get in top shape for the fall season and for the second half of the season, obviously, but I’m feeling confident about the season ahead.”

During her long hiatus from skating Edmunds had a growth spurt, which she said had given her a new strength rather than being a challenge to adjust to. “I’ve definitely matured over the last year. I feel like I’ve transformed a bit on the ice and I fill out the ice more to create the beautiful extensions I’m doing now. I think it looks really good and translates well on the ice. I really like how everything is going.”

Edmunds will be skating to the programs she planned to use last season. Her short is “Palladio,” and the free is set to Bilitis, Générique and Sarah Brightman’s “Time to Say Goodbye.” Both programs were choreographed by Rudy Galindo.

In early September, she participated in Kristi Yamaguchi’s “Golden Moment” gala, which raises money to support childhood literacy.

Later that month, she joined the cast of “Evening with Champions,” which raises money for cancer treatment centres. “I love the show and the cause,” Edmunds said. “It’s so important…to get more research and find a cure for it. I really think events like this are so important to do and something so meaningful.

“As an example, Molly (Malone) was in the show last year in a wheelchair on the ice, but this year she was skating in the show. It’s so inspiring. I have so much respect and admiration for her as a champion of life, which she is.  

Edmunds is in her second year at California’s Santa Clara University, where she is majoring in communications. “It’s going really well. I really like school, and the entire college experience,” she said. “I’m really excited to continue that for a couple of years. I am going to school full-time this quarter and the winter quarter. If I make the (Olympic) team, I will take that quarter off just because I’ll be missing so much.

“So basically we’ll see how skating goes.”