Boston, MA -- Defenseman Mark Stuart was also back out on the ice at the practice rink yesterday.
Stuart, who has been out since December 14th with a broken sternum suffered against the Flyers, has been slowly working his way back after an early esitmate of a four to six week recovery period.
The injury snapped a 214-game streak for the 25-year old, who hadn’t missed a game since joining the NHL full-time in the 2007-’08 season.
Yesterday’s practice was only the fourth time he’s laced up since the injury and he was happy to be back.
“You know, definitely when you’re hurt, you appreciate being able to play a lot more, being able to be on the ice, so it’s been good, it’s been a good last four days,” Stuart said.
When asked to estimate when he would be back in the B’s lineup, Stuart admitted that with an injury like his, recovery time is unpredictable but he’s been slowly improving over the last month.
“You don’t really know until you get out there, but I think it’s [been] four weeks next Monday,” he said. “We were kind of shooting for four to six so I feel confident.”
He attributed his upbeat attitude to strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.
“Getting on the ice was a huge step and a big confidence booster for me,” Stuart said. “He works you really hard but he keeps it light at the same time so I have to thank him for that because it’s easy to get down in the dumps.”
The injured reserve is new territory for Stuart, who seems determined to get healthy and get back to the game.
“It’s a different experience,” he said. “You know, it was real tough at first.