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Lucic Jumps Into Practice

11.13.09 at 1:56 pm ET
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Milan Lucic still can’€™t hit anyone, or tee up a slap shot. But he was back on the ice with the Bruins Friday morning in Wilmington.

The hard-hitting winger skated through his first full practice with the team since breaking his right index finger in a game in Dallas on October 16. Lucic also participated in the Bruins brief morning skate prior to Thursday’€™s 1-0 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers.

‘€œIt was nice to get out there with the team, it felt pretty good. I could keep up with the pace, it was a lighter practice,’€ said Lucic. ‘€œEveryday it feels more comfortable and that’€™s it getting better.’€

For now, Lucic can put limited pressure on the injured finger, he was able to participate in tip drills, but he has not been cleared for contact.

‘€œI’€™m just taking wrist shots, not big slap shots or those type of things just yet,’€ explained Lucic.

Any sort of work with the puck is a welcome relief for Lucic at this stage.

‘€œThe last three weeks I’€™ve been on the ice and they have been pushing me pretty hard’€ he says. ‘€œFor two of those weeks I wasn’€™t able to handle a puck, so what can really do on the ice without a puck ‘€“ just skate.’€

That extra skating may actually pay dividends when Lucic does return.

‘€œHe’€™s been skating for quite a while now so he’€™s in pretty good shape,’€ said Bruins coach Claude Julien shortly before his team was departing for Saturday night’€™s contest in Pittsburgh. ‘€œIf anything he might come back in better shape than he’€™s ever been.’€

While Lucic had indicated he hoped to be back for a November 19 game in Atlanta, the team medical staff will evaluate his progress next week.

‘€œWe go day to day, at one point they are going to tell us how well he is coming along,’€ said Julien. ‘€œRight now, it’€™s not really a surprise, but he’€™s a little bit ahead of schedule. That was good news to hear when they told us he could practice with the team.’€

With top line winger Mark Recchi having been given a personal day off Friday, Lucic skated with center Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm in several drills.

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