Chris Kelly impatiently awaiting his return to Bruins lineup
|12.30.13 at 7:48 pm ET|
Chris Kelly took the ice Monday night, but unfortunately for the injured Bruins forward, he wasn’t skating.
Instead he was standing on the ice at Fenway Park as some of his Bruins teammates took part in an open skate as part of Frozen Fenway. Rather than skates, Kelly was wearing the walking boot he’s had to wear since suffering a broken right fibula on a slash from Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis on Dec. 7.
Kelly says he hopes the boot will be off within a matter of days, but as he stands over three weeks from suffering the injury, he admits that his total time before returning to Boston’s lineup will be closer to six weeks, as Claude Julien had told reporters earlier Monday.
The Bruins had initially said that Kelly would miss four to six weeks. Given that he had returned from a broken tibia last season in less than a month, he expected a quicker recovery this time around than he’s had.
“When you’re told a date, you think you can come back quicker,” Kelly told WEEI.com. “[Last season’s tibia injury] was one of those that was an injury that you could push, I found. As soon as I was diagnosed [this season], I said, ‘Oh, well I can make it back faster than that.’ Obviously with where the injury is, you can’t push it like the other one. This one might take time, and you need to be patient, but I’m not very patient.”
The good news is that Kelly has been exercising since suffering the injury. He was on the bike the next day, and though he knows there will be some adjustment back to the ice once the boot comes off, he’s at least been keeping in shape.
“I do everything,” Kelly said. “I started riding the bike regularly. We do the aerodyn bike, where I use my arms and my one good leg. And I do upper-body and legs as well.”
Dupuis slashed Kelly in the second period of the injury-laden Dec. 7 meeting between the B’s and Penguins. Kelly played the third period, thinking that the injury wasn’t serious.
“Not that bad,” Kelly said of what he thought at the time. “It hurt and I knew it hurt, but I played the rest of the game and it affected my stride in the third, but I thought maybe [it was] a bone bruise or something. You don’t think it’s broken when you can finish a game.”
Though the Bruins certainly could use Kelly, Ryan Spooner has adjusted to the NHL and has played well of late in his place. Given that this is the second injury to keep Kelly out weeks in his career and that Rich Peverley slid over to handle his duties in his place last season, it’s the first time Kelly has seen a young player step into his spot and perform well in his absence. Kelly says he’s happy to see that his line is in good hands.
“He has played extremely well,” Kelly said. “Spoons skates well and thinks the game well. He’s done a great job. All those young guys that have come in, it’s been great to see. I think when you’re looking at it from a fan’s aspect of how bright the future of this franchise is, you always want your farm system to have players that can step in. Not everyone has that luxury. We’re extremely lucky to have that.”