Savard thinks he's cleared for contact

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard skated with the team for a fourth consecutive day and believes he has been cleared for contact after meeting with a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital on Thursday morning.

"There's not going to be much bumping at practice anyways from here on in," Savard said from the Bruins' optional skate, "but tomorrow I think I'm cleared to start doing that, to take some little bumps and gradually get more into it."

Bruins coach Claude Julien was non-committal about whether Savard, who has been out six weeks after suffering a Grade 2 concussion in early March, was indeed cleared to begin contact drills.

With the Bruins leading the Sabres 3-1 in their first-round series, it seems unlikely the team would consider bringing him back during this series. One of the hurdles Savard is going to need to overcome is getting back into shape.

"Getting my wind back is the biggest thing," said Savard, who added that he remains free of symptoms from the concussion. "You can bike and whatever you want, but nothing is like being on the ice. I'll just keep taking it a day at a time and get stronger that way."

Savard acknowledged that getting back into game shape after an injury is different than what a player experiences at the start of training camp.

"It's a little bit tougher, to be honest with you," he said. "I sat in one spot for six weeks. In the summer at least I'm out doing things and moving around, burning calories instead of sitting on a couch. It's been a little tougher, but through four days of skating I can feel better and I feel stronger. My heart rate is getting down quicker, so that's a good sign."

Savard will travel to Buffalo with the team and will participate in the team's skate on Friday before Game 5.

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.