Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg gave the strongest indication yet there is indeed a chance he could play in these Stanley Cup playoffs, telling the Boston Globe he is not only “feeling better,” but that he could “probably play right now.”
Though the 32-year-old blueliner is anxious to get back, he has not yet been medically cleared for contact, which is an important benchmark in trying to pinpoint a potential return. Seidenberg, who tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee on Dec. 27 and had surgery Jan. 7, has been skating for a few weeks and late last month joined his teammates at practice in a non-contact capacity, which fueled speculation about a return.
The Bruins have been coy about that possibility. General manager Peter Chiarelli had a brief answer for a reporter asking about Seidenberg’s status on Wednesday in Montreal.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” he said. “I haven’t last series, this series.”
The recovery and rehab timeline for someone coming off surgery for ACL and MCL tears is usually around 6-8 months, which is why he was counted out for the year at the time of the procedure.
It has only been about four months since the surgery and Seidenberg is ahead of schedule in his recovery. No matter how he feels, Seidenberg told the Globe on Tuesday night, doctors have said he would not return until he is deemed medically ready to do so. The next step in his progress would be clearance for contact at practice, which had not yet been granted prior to Tuesday’s Game 3 of the Bruins-Canadiens second-round playoff series.
When healthy, Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara make up the Bruins’ top playoff defenseman pairing and one of the top shutdown pairings in the league. In Seidenberg’s absence, the team has had some defensive breakdowns in the past few games.
The Bruins-Canadiens series resumes Thursday night with Game 4 in Montreal. Boston trails, 2-1.