BOSTON — The Bruins returned to the TD Garden ice for practice on Tuesday. Patrice Bergeron wasn't with them, but he was in the building.
That's an encouraging sign for the Bruins' leading scorer in the playoffs, who is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion in Game 4 against Philadelphia.
"[He's] doing better," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Bergeron. "He's here, he's doing better. So again, he's dealing with the concussion symptoms and everything else, the protocol of it. And he's here today because he's feeling better. And if anything, yeah we're getting some positive feedback from him."
Bergeron was injured on a hit from Flyers forward Claude Giroux early in the third period of Friday's series-clinching 5-1 win. It's the latest concussion suffered by the Bruins center, who missed most of the 2007-08 season with a severe concussion caused when then-Flyers defenseman Randy Jones hit him into the boards from behind. Bergeron suffered another concussion the following season in a collision with current teammate Dennis Seidenberg, then playing for Carolina.
Bergeron's latest concussion from the Giroux hit was classified as a mild concussion, but with his past history and the uncertainty surrounding head injuries, the team is proceeding with caution. Still, the Bruins hope that Bergeron will be able to return later in this postseason, and the extended break between rounds with the Eastern Conference finals not starting until Saturday could help minimize the number of games he misses.
"The longer the wait, the better it is for us," Seidenberg said. "Patrice is a big part of the team. We all hope that he'll be back soon."