LOWELL — On the same day that he skated with teammates for the first time since breaking his leg in June, Bruins center Gregory Campbell  said though he isn’t ready right now, he hopes to be by the time the regular season starts on Oct. 3.
Campbell, who broke his leg blocking an Evgeni Malkin slapshot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals and underwent surgery on June 10, had a recovery time of 6-8 weeks. He was cleared to begin running and skating lightly on Aug. 20.
“I kind of pushed the envelope the entire summer, just trying to do as much as I can, sometimes even more than I should be,” Campbell said. “As far as being on track, it’s been a pretty smooth rehab. I’ve been back to Boston a couple times, got X-rayed and in each step of the way, things have gone well as far as what the surgeon thinks about the healing process. As soon as I got word that I could start running and skating, I took that to heart and got right on the ice.”
Campbell said his first time on the ice “didn’t feel great” and he has had to work with trainers to put the appropriate amount of foam in his skate to alleviate discomfort where a screw was inserted during surgery.
Conditioning-wise, he could tell that his teammates, who were working out while he was rehabbing this summer, were noticeably ahead of him on Thursday.
“I guess in my mind I feel like I’m still a step or two behind, especially these other guys that have been going hard for some time now,” he said. “I think I can definitely participate in practices and things like that. I think I’ll just have to see how it goes and how I progress and not push.”
With training camp opening on Wednesday, Campbell said his priority is to take the time between now and the start of the regular season to get caught up, rather than focusing on going as hard as possible at the start of training camp. He isn’t even sure if he’ll be able to get into preseason games, but he certainly wants to.
“I think that’s definitely the smart approach,” he said of prioritizing the regular season over the start of camp. “Obviously the preseason helps that and I would definitely like to play some preseason games with the doctors and trainers’ approval, but I guess I’ll have more feeling for that as time goes on, the more I skate with these guys. I hadn’t been skating at this high a level yet. I guess I’ll see how comfortable I am with that, and as time goes on we’ll make that decision.”
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