When Dennis Seidenberg saw the defensive mess that allowed 16 goals over the first three games of the season, he didn’t put any extra pressure on himself to hurry back from a herniated disc that required surgery in late September.
The veteran defenseman wanted to help, but he was already antsy to return to the lineup in the first place.
“It doesn’t matter if the team loses or wins. If they lose, you’re like, ‘I want to come back and help them.’ If they win, I want to be back and be part of it,” he said Tuesday. “It’s always better when the team does well, but I always put the same pressure on me. I want to come back as fast as possible, but also be responsible going forward.”
That responsible approach has him where he is now. Nearly six weeks into an anticipated eight-week recovery (Seidenberg had surgery on Sept. 24, so six weeks ago Thursday), the 34-year-old defenseman says he is on schedule with his recovery and not necessarily ahead of it. He’s been skating for over two weeks (Oct. 19) and joined teammates last week.
Seidenberg still isn’t taking contact, but he seemed optimistic that he’ll be able to add more to his plate if all goes well in the coming days.
The veteran defenseman missed all of training camp due to the back issue, which popped up during informal practices in September before eventually requiring surgery. He insisted Tuesday that he has no pain in his back, and that the brunt of his recovery has been getting his legs back. That makes sense given that Seidenberg said following his surgery that it was discomfort in his leg that initially prompted him to bring the issue to the attention of team doctors.
Given that Seidenberg’s back isn’t hurting him, he doesn’t feel he’s had to be extra careful.
“If I had pain, I would be like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to be careful,’ but I’ve been feeling nothing in my back,” he said. “It’s just about power coming back in my leg and that’s the only restriction I have right now. There hasn’t really been a feeling where I’m like, ‘I’ve got to be really careful,’ but then again, you look at a back injury and with nerves being involved, you do want to be a little bit cautious.”
Once Seidenberg is ready to return, it will be interesting to see how the dominos fall on Boston’s blue line. Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid would appear to be locks to stay in the lineup, with Joe Morrow and Millers Kevan and Colin possibilities to sit. Zach Trotman has been a healthy scratch for nine consecutive games.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about that yet,” Seidenberg said. “The guys have been playing great and in the past we’ve always played with each other. It doesn’t matter who it is; we’ve always changed the pairings and I don’t see a reason why it’s going to be different this time.”