BRIGHTON, Mass – Patrice Bergeron is “probable” to play for the Boston Bruins in Thursday night’s game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden, but it’s not a 100 percent lock due to a nasty elbow infection he’s been recovering from.
Bergeron said an elbow infection “flared up” around the time of the March 15 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, and he’s missed the three B’s games since then after undergoing a surgical procedure to treat the infection. The 36-year-old has one more meeting with doctors on Thursday morning prior to getting the final clearance to return to the lineup vs. a Tampa Bay Lightning team that the B’s have a chance of hopping over in the Atlantic Division standings.
“I have to see the doctor tomorrow and I have to get cleared before I can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” said Bergeron. “We’ll see. If I get cleared, then I’ll be there. I got an infection on my elbow. It flared up the day before the Chicago game. Obviously, the infection grew, and I needed to fly back and take care of that and get surgery on it.”
Bergeron was back at practice with the rest of the group for the first time on Wednesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena while skating on his own previously with the team on the road. Bergeron took his customary spot between Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk during line rushes and certainly looked healthy and ready to go while skating around during practice.
“It’s good that he’s back on the ice and he has been. He’s got an appointment tomorrow morning,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “We’ll have a much better idea in the morning around this time if he’s been cleared or not. We’ll put him as “probable”, but we’ll know tomorrow [at morning skate].”
In other news, Cassidy indicated that rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman will be getting the starting nod against the Lightning on Thursday night. Here’s the rest of the projected lineup with Bergeron “probable” to return: