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Bruins defenseman Chara not in lineup against Jets

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will not be in the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden on Thursday.

Chara took the morning skate, but the upper-body injury he sustained Sept. 24 during a preseason game against the New York Rangers has not healed enough to allow him to play.

"You always want to play," Chara said. "But unfortunately at this time, the stage where I'm at, I've got to wait for another day."

Last season Chara, 38, had 20 points in 63 games. He missed two months because of a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee sustained Oct. 23, 2014. The Bruins were 11-7-1 without Chara.

The Bruins also are missing defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who had back surgery last month.

"We've dealt with that before, you know," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We dealt with that last year. He [Chara] was out for a while and you know you have to deal with those situations. And again my preoccupation can't be about what I'm missing but what I've got and what I've got tonight I think is good enough for us to win a hockey game. All we have to do is go out there and show it."

The Bruins are being careful with Chara in order to avoid him having a setback. Four days after the injury he was skating on his own and he's been practicing for a few days. Although it's difficult, Chara said he's being patient.

"I'm OK to be smart about it," he said. "Obviously I want to play as soon as I can. But at the same time it's Game One. And not that it's less important than any other game. But at this time I just want to continue to have progress and keep going forward with it instead of having any setbacks."

Julien said Chara has not had any setbacks in his recovery and is hopeful he'll be able to play in the near future.

"It’s getting better every day. You know, it is," Julien said. "There's no doubt today he felt better than yesterday so we're … I guess we're hoping that it's going to be sooner than later and that could be next game for all we know."

The Bruins' next game is against the Montreal Canadiens at home Saturday.

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