BOSTON (CBS) — It was just three weeks ago that David Backes went under the knife to have part of his colon removed.

On Monday, he was back on the ice skating with his Bruins teammates. Yeah, hockey players are a different breed.

Backes joined his teammates for some informal drills on Monday, and though he doesn’t have a return date in mind, says his recovery is progressing nicely.

“It’s good to be back with the guys,” said Backes, who was first diagnosed with diverticulitis back on October 5. “To be able to skate with your buddies, the morale lift from that is awesome. Even though it wasn’t a full team skate, to have 12- 14 bodies on the ice and pass pucks to guys, smile and give them a hard time, it’s fun and gives me a good feeling in my stomach.”

Backes said he felt good in the days following the surgery though he often felt fatigued and sluggish after his initial rehab workouts. It’s been challenging at home with a young daughter and a wife who is eight months pregnant, but he’s making the most of the situation.

“We’ve had a few condition-offs between my 8-month pregnant wife and myself recovering from surgery,” he joked. “Thankfully my daughter is well-behaved and dealt with us both being a little sluggish.”

The 33-year-old said doctors told him that if a certain activity doesn’t hurt, then he can continue to progress with his workouts.

“I think it gets better every day. The more I work, the better my recovery is, and I’m able to do more the next day. Those are good signs,” he said. “I’ve got to give a lot of thanks to the surgeons and the doctors I’ve been working with that did an excellent job and took extra time, knowing that I am an athlete and time is of the essence to get back sooner rather than later. … Giving me the leash to progress and to maybe push the envelope a little bit.”

Backes is entering his second season with the Bruins after signing a five-year, $30 million deal during the 2016 offseason. He’s played in five games this season and has recorded an assist. He played in 74 games last season, finishing with 17 goals and 21 assists.





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