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Hamill's success pushing Campbell to return

by Matt Kalman /
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have won four in a row and Zach Hamill has proven he can be a serviceable fourth-line center at the NHL level.

Those are just a couple of reasons Gregory Campbell wants back into the lineup even if his fractured left foot is still in pain. Campbell, who has missed three games since taking a shot off his foot in Columbus on Dec. 10, practiced without limitation Sunday and then took part in an optional skate at the TD Garden today.

His availability will be a game-time decision tonight when the Bruins host Montreal.

"It felt actually better than yesterday. So we'll see how it goes," Campbell said.

Campbell admitted that he didn't remove his skate after he blocked the shot that injured him. He played the rest of the night with the fracture in his foot. Now he says it actually feels better when he's skating than it does when he's walking, especially when wearing shoes, because of the pressure that gets put on the injury.

If he faces the Habs, Campbell will take some precautions.

"I had the trainers punch [my skate] out a bit just so it relieves a little bit of the pressure," he said. "That's kind of the main thing. At the beginning I couldn't even put my foot in the skate. And if I play, I'm sure I'll put a hard, protecting pad or shield over it just in case I block another shot there."

Campbell played in 80 games last season, so his Bruins career hasn't included many nights on the sideline. He wants to keep it that way.

"It's not fun," he said about sitting out. "But I think the silver lining is that our team is playing extremely well. So it's fun to watch us win. It's not fun to not be a part of it. I want to be involved in the success of the team, but injuries are part of the game."

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