Zdeno Chara will avoid finger surgery

Updated: May 16, 2014, 11:23 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Bruins captain Zdeno Chara dismissed reports Friday that he will have surgery to repair a fractured finger on his left hand.

"No, no surgery," Chara said. "That's a positive."

The veteran defenseman would not disclose the exact injury, but he kept his left hand in the pocket of his sweatshirt during the media scrum. At one point, he grabbed a hockey stick with the hand while it was still in the pocket.

[+] EnlargeZdeno Chara
AP Photo/Steven SenneZdeno Chara had his left hand in his pocket the entire time reporters were in the dressing room Friday.

"I don't like to talk about injuries," Chara said. "It's something that doesn't need to be surgically [fixed] so far and hopefully it stays that way. It's not something I'm going to blame or making excuses. That's the way it is. We all play with different injuries or banged up, and that's part of hockey in the playoffs. For sure, that's not why we lost."

The timing of the injury is uncertain. Chara was slashed by the Canadiens' Michael Bournival in Game 3 of the second-round series and by Max Pacioretty in Game 7, among other hits.

Chara had two goals and two assists for the Bruins in the playoffs after having 17 goals, 23 assists and a plus-25 mark in the regular season.

He said the injury will be monitored in hopes of avoiding future surgery.

"It's something we have to stay on top of and we'll see in the next few days, but for sure, [surgery] is something you don't want to have and it's always nice to avoid," he said.

While some players discuss injuries after they've been eliminated from the playoffs, Chara rarely discloses his bumps and bruises. Friday was no different.

"We all do what we can to play," he said. "Once we put the uniform on, you're 100 percent committed to play and do whatever needs to be done to help the team."

Teammates are not surprised Chara played with the hand injury.

"He' been our captain, I think he always leads us in any way he can," assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said. "He's the type of guy who's going to play on one leg if he needs to. I don't have anything [bad] to say about him. I thought he was, and still is, a terrific leader and captain."

Several other Bruins provided injury updates Friday. Forward Chris Kelly suffered a herniated disk in his back in the fourth to last game of the regular season at Minnesota. He said he will likely need surgery, but he was trying everything he could to return to action before undergoing the procedure.

"My back seized up on me, and I thought I caught it soon enough, but after that I was pretty sore for a while there and it's still sore," he said. "A lot of the muscle and it's a nerve thing so it shoots right down my leg, so some days are better than others, but hopefully I'll get it fixed and it'll be fine."

Kelly will have another MRI taken before deciding on when to have surgery. He has been told the rehab time is four to six weeks, and Kelly is confident he'll be ready for training camp in September.

Fellow Bruins forward Matt Fraser was sporting crutches and a walking boot on his right foot Friday. He has a displaced fracture and will probably need surgery. He suffered the injury while playing for the Providence Bruins in Game 1 of their Calder Cup playoff series against the Springfield Falcons. He finished that five-game series and then played four games with the Bruins with the injury.

"I would rather cut my foot off than be taken out of the lineup because you never know when you're going to get a chance to play for the Stanley Cup," Fraser said. "You look at the guys around the room and everyone's banged up, everyone's hurting. It's something you just deal with and that's the way we're wired."

He admitted the pain was intense but didn't want any injections to relieve the pain.

Bruins forward Milan Lucic was sporting a brace on his left wrist and was scheduled to have an MRI taken at MGH on Friday afternoon. He said he first felt the discomfort in Game 1 against the Canadiens.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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