WILMINGTON — While the Bruins shared some bad injury news regarding their forwards, they seem pretty close to getting some help on defense.
Dennis Seidenberg, who missed all of training camp after having back surgery on Sept. 24, is closing in on a return. Nearly seven weeks into an anticipated eight-week recovery (Thursday will mark seven weeks), Seidenberg is taking contact and participating in battle drills with teammates.
“It’s getting close. Closer,” Seidenberg said after taking part in 3-on-3 battle drills in Wednesday’s practice. “It’s tough to say, but I’m feeling better on the ice. I’m feeling strong in the battles. It’s about being more comfortable skating, and that’s getting better.”
Seidenberg has insisted that pain is not an issue, nor is his back. He says that he’s comfortable taking contact but is still monitoring how his lower-body strength is coming along since being back on the ice.
“The physical part is not the thing I have to worry about. It’s all about the lower leg and the strength and being able to sustain whatever challenge I have out there,” he said. “That’s the main thing I have to look at.”
Claude Julien said that Seidenberg is ‘being evaluated every day because he is getting closer’ to returning to Boston’s lineup. It seems unlikely he would play on Thursday against the Avalanche, but it’s safe to say the team expects him to play at some point during the team’s upcoming homestand.
While the Bruins will welcome Seidenberg’s return if and when it comes, they’re also managing their expectations in the early going. Seidenberg struggled last season in his first campaign back from a torn ACL, and though he came into informal practices in the summer eager to bounce back, the fact that he hasn’t seen game action for roughly seven months suggests it could take time for him to hit his stride.
“When a guy hasn’t had a training camp and hasn’t had a game this year, you can’t expect him to come back and all of a sudden be firing on all cylinders,” Julien said. “When he does come back, we realize that we may have to monitor his ice time and who he plays against, and so on and so forth. Those are things that we’re prepared for the minute he’s good to go.”