WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer, who is coming off a sprained left knee injury suffered in the preseason, practiced Monday with the expectation that he would begin taking contact the next day. Tuesday came a little early for Kampfer when he and Milan Lucic  collided in the final minutes of practice, leaving Kampfer down on the ice for a moments before taking a knee and eventually getting up.
“I guess we were supposed to wait till tomorrow for that,” Kampfer said with a laugh after practice, noting that he was fine following the hit.
Kamper was skating backwards when Lucic turned into him, a hit that neither saw coming and one that at least for a moment provided a bit of a scare to onlookers.
“I actually felt fine getting hit like that, and not expecting it,” Kampfer said. “I guess that kind of eases the mind a little bit, to know that you can get hit and it doesn’t hurt anything.”
If Kamfper were to have been injured in practice, there would be no knee left to injure for the first time. He suffered a right knee injury while playing for Providence late last season and sprained the left knee on Sept. 29 against the Senators. He took the ice this weekend, starting with light skating in circles before returning to practice on Monday.
“I think going through it [with the other knee last season] definitely helps,” Kampfer said. “Obviously this one wasn’t nearly as severe as the last one, so to get back and start skating, you know you’re going to feel the tweaks and pulls and everything like that, so it’s kind of comfortable to get back and start skating.”
Kampfer noted that he did not feel any pain or discomfort when turning, which was his biggest worry heading in. He figures to be a good bet to replace Matt Bartkowski as the team’s seventh defenseman once he does get healthy, though that remains to be seen. RIght now, the second-year defenseman is just happy to be making progress.
“It feels like it’s getting there, so obviously we’ll see in a couple of days when it keeps getting better,” Kampfer said of his knee. “Right now it feels good.”