There was an encouraging sight at Bruins practice Tuesday, as David Pastrnak was on the ice with the team for the first time since undergoing a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair in September.
Pastrnak is still a little ways away from being game-ready, but coach Bruce Cassidy said last week that he is probably a little ahead of his original target date of a mid-February return.
On Tuesday, general manager Don Sweeney provided a little more clarity, saying that while Pastrnak will not travel with the Bruins on their season-opening three-game road trip, he is expected to “fully integrate” into practice when they return to Boston next Tuesday.
“We don’t pick any one particular day that we circled on the calendar,” Sweeney said. “We’ll allow him to go through his progressions with our training staff and entire medical group and get his conditioning started and find out where he’s at and continue to increase his load overall as he goes through. He’ll continue to do that while we’re on the road. Unfortunately he won’t be with us on the road to do some of those battle situations. We don’t have extra players around to be able to facilitate that, but we expect him to fully integrate into practice upon our return.”
Sweeney also provided an update on fellow top-line wing Brad Marchand, who underwent a sports hernia surgery. Marchand hasn’t been on the ice the last two days, but it sounds like he is still on track to play in Thursday night’s season-opener if he feels good Wednesday.
“He’ll be back on the ice tomorrow,” Sweeney said. “Just a couple days going through some soreness associated with his offseason. Obviously we’ll be cautious with Brad and his return to play. We obviously had a goal for him to be there opening night, and we still expect that to happen, but we have to react to how he’s feeling.”