BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins are getting healthy.
Patrice Bergeron, Zdenoe Chara and Kevan Miller were all on the ice for Wednesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. It’s the first time they’ve practice with the team since suffering their respective injuries, and they did so without the red no-contact sweaters they’ve donned in recent weeks.
Usually, that means they’ve been cleared for contact, which is a great sign that they’re nearing a return. But that was not the case for Chara, as B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy explained.
“Z didn’t have a red [sweater] on. He should have, but there was no shirt that fits him,” Cassidy said, which drew some chuckles from reporters.
That’s just life as a 6-foot-9 hockey player. Chara has been sidelined the longest of the aforementioned three, recovering from a MCL injury he suffered in Boston’s 6-3 loss in Denver on Nov. 14.
“I’m making progress and it was definitely nice to be out there,” said Chara.
While it sounds like Boston’s captain still needs a little more time to return, the news was much more optimistic on Bergeron. Cassidy doesn’t think Bergeron will be back for Thursday night’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, but said there is the potential that the alternate captain could return over the weekend.
Bergeron went down with a rib/sternoclavicular injury following a big hit in a 1-0 loss to Dallas on Nov. 16. The team was hopeful that he would be back before Christmas, which sounds promising given Wednesday’s development.
“We’ll see what happens and play it by ear, but I’m very happy with how it went today,” Bergeron said after practice.
Cassidy said that Miller has been cleared for contact, but will not be cleared to play until next week. He has been on the mend since since Nov. 26 after he took a puck to his throat in a 4-2 loss in Toronto. He ended up spending the night in a Toronto hospital before returning to Boston, where he was diagnosed with a cartilage injury to the larynx.
In addition to that injured trio taking the ice on Wednesday, Jake DeBrusk and Urho Vaakanainen also skated with the Bruins. Both were in red no-contact sweaters as they recover from their respective concussions.