Injured Seidenberg hits the ice

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins injured defenseman Dennis Seidenberg skated for the first time Saturday morning since he suffered a lacerated tendon in his left forearm on April 3 at Toronto.

He had the cast removed last Monday and doctors told him it would be another four weeks of rehab, but he believes he's maybe a little ahead of schedule.

"There's a possibility I can shave off a couple of days, but I still haven't seen the doctor since Monday," he said today.

The doctor will examine him again on Monday.

Seidenberg skated for approximately 30 minutes with the team's strength and conditioning coach, John Whitesides, at Ristuccia Arena. The Bruins' blueliner only skated the circles because he still can't grip his stick due to the injury and subsequent surgery. He can use his hand, but said he can't put too much stress on the tendon.

"It's a first step," Seidenberg said. "It's the first time on the ice after four-and-a-half weeks. It's not easy, but at least I got started and we'll see how it goes."

Even though Boston's defensive unit has played well since Seidenberg's absence, his presence has been missed.

"It's been tough the whole time," Seidenberg said. "After watching now for four weeks, I just can't stand watching. I hate it. I would definitely like to play, but the guys are doing an unbelievable job so far."

During his hiatus from the ice, Seidenberg has been working hard with Whitesides on a daily basis. Every day at the rink he's dripping with sweat.

"I just sweat easy. I don't really work that hard," he said with a laugh. "John has been working me out every day for the last three weeks."

The Bruins arrived home around 1:30 a.m. after their 5-4 overtime loss to the Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday night at Wachovia Center. The players were given Saturday off and some were around for treatments.

Injured Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was one of a few players at Ristuccia Arena Saturday morning, getting treatment for the undisclosed lower-body injury he suffered in Game 3 in Philadelphia.

"I'm feeling a little bit better than I was," said McQuaid. "I'm just taking it day by day."

During the first period, he went behind his own net to make a play when he was hit into the boards.

"I got hit and kind of went into the boards awkwardly," he said.

After the hit, McQuaid didn't know if the injury was serious enough where he would miss playing time.

"I wasn't sure. I thought it was one of those things that would kind of come around, but it never did," he said. "You're always going to get the bumps and bruises when you're playing, and usually things can kind of come around and you can ease through it. This case it just didn't."

With McQuaid out, the Bruins' Mark Stuart returned to the lineup for the first time since April 2. He struggled a bit with his rhythm and timing and played only a total of nine-plus minutes. He was on the ice for the Flyers' second and third goals of the game. After the loss, Stuart said he was disappointed with his play.

In the locker room after the game, his teammates made sure to tell him not to worry about it.

"He's hard on himself because he demands so much of himself," said Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, who was also here this morning for treatment. "I think he's a little too hard on himself sometimes. He'll be ready to go for the next, I'm sure."

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins and Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.