- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- After Bruins players spent Day 1 of training camp undergoing physicals and testing, assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said he feels good and is ready for the on-ice sessions to begin Thursday at TD Garden.
It’s been less than three months since he suffered torn rib cartilage, a broken rib on his left side, a separated right shoulder and a punctured lung that ended up collapsing and forced him to spend three days in the hospital after the Bruins lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals last June.
Bergeron admitted earlier this week that he’s still experiencing some “tenderness” in the rib area but said he doesn’t believe there will be any limitations once practices begin.
“I don’t think so,” Bergeron said. “I guess we’ll go with feel with what happens on the ice. So far I’m feeling good and I’m ready to start tomorrow.”
Despite feeling the effects of the broken rib, his lung has completely healed and he was able to complete his running test Wednesday without any issues. During the team’s recent captain’s practices, Bergeron was able to handle a little bit of physical play, but he’ll be tested in the coming days before a decision is made on whether he’ll play in the exhibition games.
“Honestly, if I feel fine in the first couple of practices and I feel I can bang around and play physical during the one-on-one and stuff like that on the ice, I’ll pretty much feel like I’ll be ready to get going and move forward," he said Wednesday. "I guess the next couple of days will really tell me where I stand with the lingering issues.”
For other players, especially the younger prospects, the first day of physicals can be a bit taxing.
“Oh man, the anxiety,” said Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. “You prepare all summer. I have so much confidence going into the testing that I’m going to do better than last year. I’m going to pass all the tests, but there’s just something about it with management and the coaching staff sitting there watching you test; it adds that element to it. Your heart’s racing and you spend a lot of energy. It’s a tough day, but everyone in here is prepared for it. It’s something you look forward to right when it was the last game of last season.”
There’s also a mental aspect to the testing.
“We do our best to put ourselves in great physical shape to come in and be successful during the testing, so that extra element of the management and coaching staff watching is something you have to overcome mentally and make sure you’re sharp and focused,” Krug said.
After the testing was complete, Bruins coach Claude Julien said that every player passed and there were no disappointments or surprises.
2dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald