BOSTON (CBS) — Zdeno Chara spoke with the media on Tuesday for the first time since being sidelined with a PCL tear 12 days ago, but the Bruins captain still does not have a timeline for his return.

“I wish I could tell you guys exactly when I’m going to return,” Chara told reporters in the Bruins locker room. “But at this point, it’s really such a slow process that who knows when the day is going to be.”

Chara has been doing some upper body work during his slow recovery, and grabbed a stick on Tuesday and fired a few slappers at a wall inside the TD Garden. He said he didn’t think the injury was very serious when it first occurred in Boston’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders back on October 23, but learned its severity later in the locker room.

The day after the injury the Bruins said their captain would be out for 4-6 weeks and it was unlikely that he would require surgery. Chara said “we’ll see” when asked about avoiding surgery on Tuesday, but that would obviously be very good news.

For a fierce competitor like Chara, who had missed just 11 games during his eight-plus seasons in Boston prior to the injury, he’s doing everything he can to be back as soon as physically possible.

“It’s hard to watch on the sidelines, but my focus is obviously on getting better and getting back as soon as I can,” he said. “So as much as I would like to play, I think that my focus right now is on getting better off the ice.”

The injury bug has not been kind to the Bruins this season. In addition to Chara, they’re without fellow blueliners Kevan Miller and Torey Krug, and top line center David Krejci will miss his second straight game on Tuesday with a lower body injury.

But Boston has fared well so far without their big defenseman on the ice, going 3-1 since he went down. Still, their captain sees room for improvement.

“I think we can always do better,” said Chara. “But they’ve done a better job, especially the last two games, being consistent and better for 60 minutes.”

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