Ference suffers lower body injury

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Ference suffers lower body injury

BOSTON -- The Bruins beefed up their defensemen depth at the NHL trade deadline and those depthsare already being tested.

Andrew Ference exited Thursday night's 4-3 overtime win at TD Garden over the New Jersey Devils in the third period with a "lower body injury" and never returned to action. Ference has a history of groin issues over the years, but it's unclear if that was the problem this time around.

The B's defenseman took a heavy hit from Alex Ponikarovsky in the corner during the second period, butit was unclearif that had anything to do with Ference's exit after just 2:40 and four shifts in the third period.

"He suffered a lower body injury and the medical staff thought it was better to hold him out of the game," said Claude Julien. "We'll know more about the injury tomorrow."

Julien had actually shortened his bench and was skipping Joe Corvo while going with a five-man defensemen rotation to start the third period. But the B's coach was forced to put Corvo back into the regular rotation when Ference had to leavethe game prematurely.

Greg Zonan, by contrast, was impressive in his debut with the Bruins, and it appears that Johnny Boychuk is trending toward a potential return this weekend from a mild concussion if things continue to improve. Mike Mottau was a healthy scratch for Thursday's game against the Devils, but that may change given Ference's developing injury situation.

Ainge: Groin injury will 'probably' keep Thomas from playing Friday

Ainge: Groin injury will 'probably' keep Thomas from playing Friday

There’s still no concrete answer on how long Isaiah Thomas’ right groin injury will keep him sidelined, but the 5-foot-9 guard probably will not play against Toronto on Friday.
 
Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, addressed Thomas’ availability on 98.5 the Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning.
 
“It’s day to day,” said Ainge, who added that Thomas had an injection into his thigh muscle. “He is a warrior; he loves to play. He’ll be back faster than most players would be back after an injury. At the same time, we have to be really careful with Isaiah over the long haul and make sure he doesn’t come back and injure it.”
 
Thomas did not play in Boston’s 117-87 win at Orlando on Wednesday night, his first missed game since the 2014-15 season.
 
He is ranked among the NBA’s top-10 scorers with a career-high 26.0 points-per-game average, in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game.
 
Thomas has been effective while playing through an assortment of injuries during his time with Boston. But a groin injury isn't something that can just be played through,  which is why the Celtics are wisely shutting him down now.
 
“We’ll try and get him as much rest as we can and get him back on the court when he’s ready,” Ainge said.