Bruins 'being careful' with Kelly in comeback

Bruins 'being careful' with Kelly in comeback
January 26, 2014, 7:30 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

UNIONDALE – Chris Kelly was a full participant in Sunday’s brief practice at the Nassau Coliseum, and was still at the facility stretching and working out long after the team had exited the ice. The 33-year-old continues to close on a return to the lineup after missing the last six plus weeks with a broken right ankle suffered on a Pascal Dupuis slash back on Dec. 7.

His presence with the Bruins on the road is a clear indication he’s close to a return while practicing with the team, but it sounds like it might not happen Monday night against the New York Islanders. Kelly said at the end of last week that there were no real hurdles for him to clear in getting back into the lineup, and “that every day feels better than the day before” while out on the ice again.

Claude Julien wants Kelly to work himself back into game condition after what’s now been close to a seven week absence from NHL games. There’s no real rush given the way the Bruins are currently performing: they’ve taken seven of their last eight points, and have stabilized the defensive zone and penalty killing over the last 10 days.

“I can’t really answer it because I’m not sure on his status,” said Claude Julien. “He’s been out for six weeks or whatever, and it’s not as easy as a guy that’s been out for just a week. It’s almost training camp all over again for him.

“We’re just being careful for his sake, and our sake. He’ll just keep practicing, and when we feel he’s ready there won’t be any hesitation about putting him in there.”

Ryan Spooner was back on the ice Sunday afternoon after missing Saturday’s win over the Flyers with an illness, and both the 21-year-old and Swedish forward Carl Soderberg stand ready to center the third line against the Isles.