Marc DesRosiers/USA Today Sports

Charlie McAvoy (heart procedure) skates with teammates

Ty Anderson
February 01, 2018 - 4:48 pm

Less than two weeks after a ‘minor heart procedure’ -- an oxymoron if there ever was one -- Bruins rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy was back in uniform and on the ice with his teammates for Thursday’s optional morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena.

"To get back out there and pass the puck with the guys and engage in some high-paced drills - it a good day," McAvoy, whose heart issues were officially diagnosed as SVT, said. "A big step in the process to get back out there and be able to exert myself and monitor where I'm at. It was a good day, getting the heart rate up. I feel good."

And while Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed the obvious, that McAvoy is not going to be in the lineup for Thursday’s head-to-head with the Blues, Cassidy has not yet ruled out the possibility of the 20-year-old playing Saturday against the Maple Leafs.

"He's getting closer," Cassidy admitted. "Let's get a good practice in and re-evaluate."

That practice should come on Friday, and then with a Saturday morning skate at their disposal to make their next decision in regards to the Calder Trophy candidate.

"It's gonna be when my body is ready and when the trainers feel like I'm ready to go,” said McAvoy. “I'd rather come back 100 percent than come back less than that. I want to be able to play good hockey and put our team in a good spot when I come back.”

McAvoy has five goals and 25 points in 45 games this season, and is one of nine NHL defensemen averaging at least 20 minutes of even-strength time on ice per game.

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