Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand and defenseman Charlie McAvoy are walking back their respective targeted dates to return to the lineup a bit.
Both Marchand (off-season hip surgery), and McAvoy (off-season shoulder surgery), have been skating for the last few days and actually made the trip with their team to Washington D.C for the season opener against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Both injured players skated prior to the Bruins’ practice in Annapolis, MD on Tuesday. While their recent skates are clearly positive steps, on Monday, both Marchand and McAvoy refused to put concrete timelines or target dates on a return to game action.
“It takes time,” Marchand told reporters Monday at Boston Bruins media day. “That will be the thing that’s frustrating at some point is I’ll feel good, feel like I’m ready, but there’s still a process that you’ve got to follow to get back. Just trying to take it day by day and make sure there’s no setbacks and nothing that holds me back from getting back when I want to.”
The Boston Bruins winger was then asked if, as he said he was a month ago, he was still targeting the Black Friday matinee game against the Carolina Hurricanes as his return date?
“I don’t want to be definitive in what the timetable is,” Marchand said “I’ll try to see how I feel. I haven’t dealt with anything like this before where I feel really good, but I still have to be careful with where I’m at. My surgeries before, once I feel good, I can go. But it’s not quite like that with this one. I’ve just got to be careful.”
While it’s not necessarily anything for the Bruins and their fans to fret over at this point, that’s still less definitive than what Brad Marchand told BHN scribe Joe Haggerty on September 15.
“The last few days of November is the target date. That would be about six months,” Marchand said then.
As for Charlie McAvoy, the thought since he underwent surgery on his shoulder last June was that he would be back by early to mid-December. Like Marchand though, McAvoy was careful Monday to come anywhere close to providing a concrete date or time frame for his return.
“It’s hard to look that far into the future and have that date circled,” said McAvoy. “We’re really worried about one day at a time and making sure that we are stacking those bricks, those foundation bricks ahead of each other.”
The chances are that both players were instructed to give vague estimates on their returns but clearly it’s a reminder that setbacks happen and that at least for the next two months, the Boston Bruins will need to tread water in the standings with two of their big guns on long-term injured reserve.