BOSTON - Patrice Bergeron can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Some three weeks after suffering a fractured right foot, Boston's alternate captain returned to the ice with his teammates for the first time on Monday morning. Bergeron skated on his own prior to pregame skate and remained on the ice for the full team session.
"Felt good. Was nice to be on the ice and skating," said Bergeron. "It's been a long three weeks, but it was nice to finally move forward and be on the ice. It was nice to stay with the guys this time."
Bergeron said there is still a bit of soreness in his foot, but that any remaining discomfort was to be expected.
"Still a little bit of that, but much better," said Bergeron. "It was expected that it wasn't going to be perfect when I was gonna be back. It's still where we want it to be."
While Bergeron has made a major step in his recovery process, he has not set a specific date for when he may return to game action.
"I don't have a timeline yet," said Bergeron. "I don't even know if I'm going [to travel on Tuesday], but I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now, so it's good to be on the ice and we're trying to not set a timeline right now and make sure I feel good and have my bearings on the ice. So far I'm happy where I'm at."
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy ruled out his No. 1 center through at least Wednesday night's game in St. Louis.
"We'll see where he's at as we go through the week and continues to kind of be a day-to-day guy now that he's skating," said Cassidy.
Boston's other injured players - Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, David Backes, and Jake DeBrusk - also continue to progress but none will play before Wednesday.
"We'll make those decisions tomorrow [regarding who travels]," said Cassidy. "We have a week out there with ice. Bergy's skating, that obviously helps. We'll see where the other guys are when they're able to skate, that's part of the decision - can they skate or are they better off getting their treatment here? They're day-to-day progressions."
McAvoy has yet to resume skating since suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee against Montreal on March 3.
"He's doing rehab. His next progression, I assume he'll skate - I don't know exactly what date," said Cassidy. "He's on schedule. I think four weeks was the original [timeline], we're not there yet."