- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron suffered a partially torn oblique muscle in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round series against the Washington Capitals and said Friday that he had played despite a considerable amount of pain.
He will not require surgery, but likely two to three weeks to heal. Bergeron said he had a similar injury in 2007.
In fact, had the Bruins beaten the Capitals, he might have missed at least one, possibly two games to start the conference semifinals. He also played with a broken nose he suffered in Game 5.
"It's a torn, or strained oblique, in my abs," Bergeron said. "It's my core, so anything that has to do with moving my arms or moving my feet, it starts with the core. It started in Game 3 and it got worse. Obviously, I didn't play in the third period in Game 5 and I couldn't do anything. I tried in Games 6 and 7 and I was probably 60 percent, I don't know exactly."
In the opening minutes of overtime in Game 7, Bergeron had a quality scoring chance but couldn't convert.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday he had no doubt that if Bergeron were healthy, he would have pumped in that goal.
"He was very debilitated from taking faceoffs and I believe, I don't Bergy would ever say it, but I believe that last chance in overtime he couldn't stretch for it because of the oblique. He was in a lot of pain," Chiarelli said.
Meanwhile, Chiarelli expects winger Nathan Horton to recover fully from his concussion and be ready for the 2012-13 season.
"It's not 100 percent, but in my experience with the concussions here, the information the doctors give me following the concussions and shortly in the rehab period, they've been spot on," Chiarelli said.
After suffering a concussion in Game 3 of last year's Stanley Cup finals, Horton suffered a second concussion on Jan. 22. It was originally diagnosed as a mild concussion, but he was never able to return to action. He was officially ruled out for the playoffs just prior to the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series the Bruins lost to the Capitals in seven games.
"How Nathan's concussion was characterized for me was mild and was a completely different, independent of the hit in the (2011) finals," Chiarelli said Friday. "There's a whole bunch of other things that surround concussions that we're looking at with Nathan, but every bit of information provided to me in the past and with Nathan has been spot-on. I know we were expecting better recovery time for Nathan and for certain reasons he didn't, but I have complete confidence in the information that was given to me that he'll be back. I can't say it's 100 percent."
In taking stock of other injuries on the team, it appears forward Tyler Seguin may need surgery for a detached knuckle tendon on his left hand.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid admitted he had suffered a concussion late in the season, and that's why he missed the series against the Capitals.
After the initial hit he received from Capitals foward Jason Chimera on March 29, McQuaid attempted to play in the second-to-last game of the regular season at Ottawa, but quickly realized it was much more than just an eye injury, and he informed the team trainers.
"I'm feeling much better," McQuaid said. "I'm feeling like myself again. I'm obviously happy about that, but it was difficult watching. It's harder watching than it is playing because you feel helpless.
"It's not something you can play through, it's not smart to and hopefully I can play for many more years and I didn't want to jeopardize that."
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron suffered a partially torn oblique muscle in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first-round series against the Washington Capitals and said Friday that he had played despite a considerable amount of pain.