BOSTON (CBS) – After getting two days off this week the Boston Bruins were back on the practice ice Thursday morning, and they got a pair of injured skaters back.
Forward Chris Kelly and defenseman Dougie Hamilton returned to practice on the Ristuccia ice on Thursday, as the two get closer to a potential return for the B’s.
Kelly has been sidelined since breaking his fibula on December 7, but skated with Boston’s third line of Carl Soderberg, Louie Eriksson and Ryan Spooner — who took over for Kelly — on Thursday. It was the first time he’d taken the ice with his teammates since suffering the injury.
“I was excited to come today,” Kelly said, adding that he pushed himself in practice. “It’s been a little bit longer than I would have liked but it’s all part of the process of getting better. Today was a step in the right direction.”
Kelly still doesn’t have a return date in mind, but says he has done everything he needs to in order to be ready for when that time comes.
“Today was better than yesterday, so I hope tomorrow is better than today and we’ll go from there,” he said.
“Hopefully within the week,” head coach Claude Julien said of a Kelly return. “He was cleared to practice and today wasn’t full-contact for him, but hopefully it will progress quickly. He’s going to make the road trip with us, but he won’t play until I’m told he’s cleared. When that comes we’ll make that decision.”
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Kelly struggled to start the season but had been on the upswing prior to the injury. In 29 games this season, Kelly scored three goals and had four assists for Boston.
Hamilton has missed the last four games with a mild concussion, but his return to the ice is a possible sign he may be able to play Saturday afternoon when the Bruins visit the Philadelphia Flyers.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid was the lone Bruin missing from practice, still on the mend after suffering a leg injury in Boston’s 3-2 shootout loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
Newly recalled defenseman Zach Trotman was also back with the team and practicing on Thursday. Trotman was called up Sunday and played in Monday’s win over the Kings before being sent back down to Providence, but was recalled Thursday morning on an emergency basis.
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