WILMINGTON — Bruins center Chris Kelly  skated on his own and worked with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides prior to Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. Claude Julien  said after the practice that Kelly has been skating since last week but is not close to a return.
Johnny Boychuk  was also back on the ice after leaving the team’s California road trip to return home for personal reasons. Those reasons were born 2:27 am and 2:57 am Monday, as Boychuk and his wife welcomed twins to their family. The only player missing from practice was defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who was being evaluated by team doctors following practice.
Kelly, who skated for roughly 20 minutes, has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula suffered on a slash from Penguins  forward Pascal Dupuis. It is the second significant injury of Kelly’s career, as he missed a little less than a month with a broken tibia last season.
The Bruins said at the time of Kelly’s injury that he was expected to miss four to six weeks, so his return to the ice a little over five weeks in would seem to put him on pace to return within that timetable. Kelly had returned from last season’s injury sooner than the team expected, but he said that he learned in his recovery this season  that he couldn’t push it as much.
With Kelly out, the Bruins have relied on rookie Ryan Spooner to center the team’s third line.
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