BOSTON -- Chris Kelly said he was hoping to return to the Bruins lineup at some point during the playoffs, but a herniated disc in his back made that impossible.
The third-line forward said the injury occurred while he pushing off another player in the April 8 regular-season loss to the Minnesota Wild, and he never played again. The Bruins -- who plugged youngsters like Justin Florek and Matt Fraser into the third-line role -- missed Kelly's veteran leadership, ace penalty-killing and steady two-way play.
Kelly said he'll most likely have surgery and hopes to be back to full strength for training camp next September.
“I was just trying to do everything I could to not have surgery in order to play,” said Kelly. “Now that the season’s done I’ll probably go ahead and get it fixed. My back just seized up on me. A lot of muscle [pain] and it’s a nerve thing, so it shoots right down my leg. Some days are better than others.
“It was extremely frustrating. I thought the guys played really hard, and did a great job. It’s difficult to watch. You’re still invested in this group, but it’s kind of out of your control. It was difficult.”
Kelly said it was a “four-to-six-week” recovery timetable from the surgery. According to Kelly, his L5 disc is herniated in an injury similar to the one Henrik Zetterberg recovered from in time to play at the tail end of the first-round series against Boston.