BOSTON, MA - Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid have been skating off and on since the week of April 8.
The two defensemen usually take to the ice on their own with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides before the team practices.
Both have been working through their own recovery processes. Seidenberg suffered his ACL/MCL tear back on December 27, underwent surgery and is nearly four months into his rehab. His recovery time was initially estimated at six to eight months. Meanwhile, McQuaid has been dealing with a nagging groin injury and last saw game action on January 19.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli is not counting on Seidenberg being back for the playoffs, and said the team is being careful with McQuaid because of his setbacks. The defense has stepped up as a whole, and has fallen into place in their absences.
"We’ve been doing okay with the D we have so we want to be cautious with it," the GM has said.
On Monday, though, as the Bruins held an optional skate at TD Garden before heading to Detroit for Games 3 and 4 with the first round series knotted at 1-1, McQuaid and Seidenberg were given an opportunity to skate with their teammates for the first time.
"I went to our trainers and asked if it was okay for him [Seidenberg] and McQuaid to skate today with the rest of the team," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters at TD Garden on Monday. "Because there's no contact, there's nothing, it's just a simple drill so it's the same drills that they did before we went on the ice with that group. They were on early here and stayed on with that group."
"A lot of it is for encouragement reasons, you know, just those two on the ice together all the time, it gets tough after a while. Being out there with more players and being able to do a little bit more is a little bit more exciting for them, so I thought, mentally, it would be a good opportunity for them to be with the rest of the guys today because of the type of practice we were having, and our trainers agreed."
Julien was asked how he guards against getting excited, seeing them out on the ice skating, especially Seidenberg, given the extent of his injury.
"Because nobody's told me anything that would get me excited, that's why," said Julien.
For Seidenberg, he would have eventually started skating at some point in his recovery.
"You know, I guess, according to our trainers and our doctors, that’s the protocol - they figured he’d be going through that process and at one point he’d be skating before next season," said Julien. "So I think he’s on track right now, probably maybe even a little ahead of the curve because of his conditioning and how strong he was even before that injury."
"He’s a well-trained individual and those guys have a tendency - athletes have a tendency to recover a little quicker than the normal person - and he’s on that track right now."