Boston Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort practiced on Wednesday and could return to the lineup on Thursday night when the Bruins host the New York Islanders at T.D. Garden.
“Forbort is getting closer. He’s questionable. Right now, his status is questionable for tomorrow night,” Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery told the media following practice.
Montgomery also announced that forward Morgan Geekie has suffered an upper-body injury and is considered week-to-week.
Forward Jakub Lauko was a welcome sight on the ice at practice on Wednesday. Lauko has been out of the lineup since he took a skate blade to the face in the third period of a 3-0 Bruins’ win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 24. That left Lauko with an ugly shiner and two facial fractures, but thankfully he came away with his sight still.
“It feels good,” Lauko replied on Wednesday when asked how his eye felt. “I’m just grateful that I can be here now. Because it was a close call, it was very close to the eye. It missed the eye, literally, by millimeters.”
🎥 Jakub Lauko on his return to practice and wearing a neck guard moving forward: "I'm just grateful that I can be here now because it was very close to the eye…after this experience, it's too much of a risk…I'll wear the neck guard, I think, for the rest of my career." pic.twitter.com/caZSMG1Fus
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 8, 2023
Just as the entire hockey world was, Lauko was horrified by former NHLer Adam Johnson’s death in England after Johnson took a skate blade to the neck in an English Elite League game. That’s why, in addition to a protective cage for his face, Lauko was sporting a neck guard on Wednesday.
“After the experience with the eye and after what happened in England, it’s too much of a risk,” Lauko pointed out. “When you can put something on the neck, it’s always better. It’s the most vulnerable spot for us on the body. So I’m going to start wearing neck guards and wrist guards, too. Just adding some layers of protection on those places that are on the line. It’s always better to be ready than sorry. I’ll wear the neck guard, I think, for the rest of my career.”
As for when that career will resume this season, Lauko will not play against the New York Islanders on Thursday night and will be day-to-day from there.
“Lauko’s just starting his stage or process of getting back,” Montgomery said of the 23-year-old forward. “He’s definitely out for [Thursday], and we’ll see how he progresses from there.”