SAN JOSE, Calif. - Rich Peverley was approaching the day when he'd be cleared for contact, and that day arrived on Wednesday as the shifty winger took part in 5-on-5 drills during an off-day practice at the HP Pavillion home of the San Jose Sharks.
It wasn't hand-to-hand combat on the ice, but it was pretty clear Peverley was getting bumped around a little bit during the practice session.
Peverley has missed close to six weeks of action with a sprained MCL in his right knee, but was out taking shifts as the extra forward with third line members Brian Rolston, Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot.
Some thought he might slide into the right wing spot on the top line currently manned by Jordan Caron, but it makes much more sense to ease a player in that hasn't skated a shift of hockey in nearly two months.
Peverley has participated on the ice during the last three team practices dating back to Monday's morning skate at TD Garden. These are all good signs that the gritty skill player's return is imminent and that's welcomed news considering the big role Peverley plays in all situations for the Bruins.
There remains an outside chance Peverley could play in one of the weekend games on the trip with the Kings and Ducks on tap for back-to-back games.
Peverley's participation in Wednesday's practice was the highlight of practice for the Bruins after touching down in California for their three-game road trip through the state. Here are the lines from practice: