COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Boone Jenner hasn't played a game since Oct. 25, a 5-2 win for the Blue Jackets over the Toronto Maple Leafs. That was the team's last victory (they have lost five straight since) and it has made for an even more frustrating absence for the rookie forward.
Jenner suffered a leg injury during the game against Toronto and stayed off the ice for some time after the fact. In the days and weeks since, he has spent a lot of time on the bike, in the weight room, and most recently, back on the ice with a couple of his fellow injured teammates.
And while it's never easy to helplessly watch your teammates, Jenner has found it even more aggravating while the Blue Jackets are mired in a five-game losing streak.
"It's always difficult, yeah, but this has been really tough," Jenner told BlueJackets.com this morning. "(Sitting out) is never something you want to do, but unfortunately, injuries are part of the game and part of sports. Right now I'm looking forward to getting this all healed up and then get back out there to help my teammates."
Friday's skate was Jenner's fourth day of skating and he has spent a lot of time in the OhioHealth Ice Haus with Matt Calvert, who's rehabbing from abdominal surgery that has kept him out since the first week of the season. Another recent add to that group skating in the Ice Haus has been Nathan Horton, who's only just returned to the ice after shoulder surgery but isn't taking contact or wearing equipment.
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, who was visibly upset with his team's performance in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, said Calvert and Jenner are progressing well and their returns are on the horizon.
Had they both been healthy in these last couple of games, Richards said, there may have been some "big names" in the press box as healthy scratches.
For now, though, Jenner has been encouraged by how he's felt in his four days of skating with Blue Jackets strength coach Kevin Collins. While there has been no definite return date set, Jenner is anticipating getting back into action sooner rather than later.
"It's great to be back skating," Jenner said. "I'm just trying to take a positive step every day and move toward getting back into games. No setbacks, I'm trying to get better each day I'm out there and that's been my goal. It feels good to get some skating in, for sure."