WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins returned to practice Monday at Ristuccia Arena, and defenseman Adam McQuaid was once again on the ice participating fully with his teammates.
McQuaid has not played in a game since suffering a neck injury against Carolina on Oct. 12 when he lost his balance and fell headfirst into the boards. He has missed the last four games, but could be ready to return Thursday when the Bruins host Montreal at the Garden.
"He's feeling good, so it's just a question of time here," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I guess I'm optimistic, and that's what I'm allowed to be, as far as him being ready for Thursday."
McQuaid has appeared close to a return once already though. He returned to practice last Monday and was a game-time decision Tuesday in the rematch against Carolina, but suffered a setback after the morning skate. He did not skate in warm-ups that night and was held out of practice on Wednesday and out of the morning skate Thursday before the Bruins played Toronto. McQuaid returned to practice on Friday, but did not play Saturday against San Jose.
Julien is aware of the uncertain nature of injuries like the one suffered by McQuaid. The injury has been treated like a concussion, with the defenseman following the protocol for such an injury as a precaution.
"I've kind of made some comments in the past and it's kind of come back to bite me," Julien said. "But he's been fine now for a few days, so I'm very confident right now that things are going to keep going in that direction."