BOSTON (CBS) — Two players — Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg — returned to practice with their Boston Bruins teammates on Tuesday. One is presumably much closer to returning than the other.
Paille, who suffered a head injury that the team never confirmed as a concussion, was cleared for contact last Friday. Tuesday marked his first full practice with the team, and he skated on the second line, filling in for the missing Brad Marchand. Paille hasn’t played since getting hit in the neutral zone by Jake McCabe, a hit that left Paille dazed.
Head coach Claude Julien said after practice that Paille will be ready to go when the series against Montreal begins. That will likely push Jordan Caron from the lineup.
Seidenberg has been out since late December, when he suffered a torn ACL and MCL. He’s been skating on his own prior to the teams’ practices in recent weeks, but Tuesday’s participation was his first with the team since the injury.
Seidenberg filled in for Corey Potter, who suffered an injury during practice last wek, and skated with Andrej Meszaros, who was a healthy scratch for Games 3-5 against Detroit.
While Paille’s participation is an indication that the forward could be ready to return to game action when the Bruins host the Canadiens in Game 1 later this week, Seidenberg’s presence remains more of a mystery.
Neither general manager Peter Chiarelli or team president Cam Neely have ruled out the possibility of a Seidenberg return, and the veteran defenseman’s increased workload over the past few weeks indicates he is on some type of fast track for recovery.
Neely said last week on Felger & Massarotti that Seidenberg had not experienced any setbacks, and Chiarelli offered no update during a Monday press conference.
Julien said that Seidenberg has not yet been cleared for practice.
“He’s just skating with us and doing everything that has no contact with it,” Julien said. “So it’s more to get him out of boredom [of skating] on his own or with just another player, so it gives him the opportunity to make some plays and passes with a little bit of traffic around him too. So we thought it was a good time for him. He is strong enough with his skating that he can jump to that level right now.”
Even though a return in this round seems very unlikely for Seidenberg, his continued presence will keep alive hope that he may be able to return if the Bruins can sustain a long playoff run to the conference finals or Stanley Cup finals.
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