OTTAWA Zdeno Chara is perfectly human, but nobody can be blamed for wondering if there are some cyborg parts in there.
Just four days after many feared the worst when his left knee buckled following a collision with Columbus' Antoine Vermette, Zdeno Chara was back on Scotiabank Centre ice skating with Jordan Caron.
Chara again seemed to be operating without much of a limp while digging into the frozen sheet and said afterward that hes slowly progressing back from his left knee issue. He skated for roughly 30 minutes, but it's unlikely that he returns against the Senators Wednesday night.
But a return Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers hasnt been ruled out, and Chara is progressing far ahead of the early prognostications.
Chara unflinchingly maintained that hes a game time decision tonight and likely will be moving forward now that hes in a day-to-day situation with the lower body injury. The question now becomes whether its prudent to rush the 6-foot-9 franchise defenseman back when a few days of rest in December could pay dividends for the warhorse blueliner down the line.
There is no rush, although the Bs seemed to employ a bend but dont break defense that allowed 41 shots to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. The risk of wear and tear on Dennis Seidenberg, who may be pushed to play almost 30 minutes per game in Charas absence, is low because the B's schedule spaces out games over the next two weeks.
Theres also this: Chara is as proud as he is tough. He would love to make a statement by returning far before many thought he would.