BOSTON -- Adam McQuaid was absent from Tuesdays pregame warm-up skate and Wednesdays practice on the TD Garden ice, but Claude Julien was hesitant to use the word setback when discussing the defensemans head injury.
McQuaid has now missed two games because a headneck injury suffered against the Carolina Hurricanes last week during a head-first tumble into the boards, and appears doubtful for Thursday nights game against the Leafs after being very close to suiting up against the 'Canes. It could be the Bruins expressing extra caution while treating McQuaids injury like a concussion, or it could be that a symptom cropped up for the rough-and-tumble defenseman at the very last moment.
Either way, it appears that McQuaid will sit out another game or two before he returns to the lineup.
I thought he was certainly as close as could be to coming back, but there are some issues where weve pulled him back again," said Julien. "So its a little bit longer than we predicted and thats one of the reasons I dont like giving updates. Those things change on a daily basis.
Id say McQuaid is day-to-day, but you didnt see him out there today because we pulled him back. There are no signs of a concussion and there no signs of not having it. It looks more like the neck issue, but were dealing with it like a concussion. Hes gone through a bunch of protocols that hes passed, but the last decisions goes to the player. Im not saying its up to him, but he gets the final say. Doctors can clear him all they want, but if I dont feel like hes ready to go and he doesnt feel like hes 100 percent then you hold him back.
While McQuaid appears unlikely to suit up against Toronto no matter what the situation, Steve Kampfer may be nearing a return and could be a potential game-time decision for the Bs amid the struggles of Matt Bartkowski. Kampfer has been out for the entire season with a sprained left MCL, but could be ready given the dire straits the B's find themselves in for a sixth defenseman.
Kampfer has been cleared for contact, and now its up to the training staff for him to make his season debut.
Hes probably going to be a guy that well have an opinion from the doctors on whether hes a game time decision for tomorrow, said Julien.
Whether its Kampfer or a 100 percent healthy McQuaid, the Bruins need somebody to supplant the young Bartkowski -- and the tough mistakes hes been making with minimal minutes for the Bs this season.