Bruins Get Good News on Injuries
By Marisa Ingemi
Good news has been hard to come by on the injury front for the Bruins this season. It appears they finally might be operating at full-strength soon, for the first time all year.
Every injured Bruin returned to practice on Wednesday, and while it doesn’t seem any of them will be ready to face the Ducks on Thursday, game action appears imminent for them all.
“It’s nice to have pretty much the whole team back on the ice and skating,” said Patrice Bergeron. “It’s definitely a great step forward. It’s been a long four weeks or so, so we’re happy to be back on the ice.”
Bergeron, out since early November with a rib injury suffered in Dallas, practiced without the non-contact jersey and per head coach Bruce Cassidy, has a shot at playing in one of the two games this weekend.
“It was a positive and a big step forward today,” said Bergeron. “It was a good step forward today. I’ve been skating pretty hard... It’s been good to actually get back on the ice and practice.”
Zdeno Chara practiced without the non-contact jersey as well, but he wasn’t ready to take hits, and simply wasn’t donning the red sweater because, according to Cassidy, “there’s no shirt that fits him.”
Kevan Miller practiced and took contact as well. The defenseman took part in practice last week before the Bruins went to Pittsburgh and is progressing from his throat injury. Though he’s been clear for contact, Cassidy didn’t think he would play until next week.
Forward Jake DeBrusk (concussion) was not cleared for contact but practiced for the first time after missing the last five games.
“Good day today, and obviously taking it day by day,” said DeBrusk. “Making progress towards the end goal. It was nice to be on the ice with the guys today for the first time. It feels like it was a while ago, so nice to be around the room and be a hockey player again.”
Urho Vaakanainen (concussion) also skated in the Merlot jersey.
It was the first time the Bruins had a full group like this since late in the preseason, before the injury bug bit relentlessly for the first third-plus of the year.
“It’s nice when things run a little bit smoother with guys who have been around,” said Cassidy. “Practice habits, pace of the drills. Mood of the team, I think that’s the biggest thing, guys know they’re getting close.”