The big news from today's practice? BOB’S BACK!
(Oh, and, captain Nick Foligno joined Twitter - @NickFoligno)
But back to the Blue Jackets' No. 1 goaltender.
After missing 19 games due to a groin strain suffered Jan. 21 vs. the Calgary, the Blue Jackets activated Bobrovsky off injured reserve yesterday.
Although Bobrovsky has been practicing and training with the team more regularly as of late, this morning's practice at Nationwide Arena marked the first time the goaltender has done so as an eligible player on the team's roster.
And after weeks on the sideline, Bobrovsky said watching from a distance during his recovery and not playing and contributing was difficult.
“It was really, really hard, especially the mental part, to sit there and do nothing — just watch hockey for that long time — it was hard,” Bobrovsky told BlueJackets.com. “I just want to be back and play hockey and enjoy being around the team and help the guys."
With the help of the Blue Jackets coaches and trainers, Bobrovsky has worked diligently to recover and get back into game-ready shape. A big part of that included slowly integrating himself back into the team’s practices.
“I had a few practices with the team,” Bobrovsky said. “I didn’t have any restrictions, so I feel like I can stretch, I can push hard and I don’t feel anything, so I felt like my body is ready to go.”
And though the recovery process took a considerable amount of time, Bobrovsky said waiting until he was absolutely ready (and perhaps more than ready) to return was key.
“I think we did a smart thing, too, to give enough time to heal in a proper way. It's been almost six or seven weeks, so it’s been a while,” Bobrovsky said.
Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has stated that the plan is for Bobrovsky to make his return on Friday night at Nationwide Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s game,” Bobrovsky said. “It’s kind of like the first game of the season."