Rich Peverley Participates in Morning Skate, Joins Bruins on Ice for First Time Since Knee Injury

Rich Peverley Participates in Morning Skate, Joins Bruins on Ice for First Time Since Knee InjuryBOSTON — Rich Peverley's long road back from a serious knee injury took another step forward on Monday.

The Bruins forward joined his teammates on the ice for the first time since the injury, participating in the club's morning skate as the Bruins prepared for Monday night's clash with Toronto at TD Garden.

"It's was nice," Peverley said after the skate. "Obviously I didn't want to get in the way of anybody, but it’s good to get back out with the guys and get into a regular routine. It's nice to just be out there and get into the flow of things."

Peverley did not take part in any of the line drills and still has not been cleared for contact, but he does continue to progress since returning to the ice last Wednesday, skating on his own until Monday.

"It's been almost a week now. I'm feeling better every day," Peverley said, adding that he is taking the rehab process "day by day, that's the plan. I'm still on schedule, so I'm just taking it day by day and getting better every day."

Bruins coach Claude Julien has been impressed with Peverley's progress, but is also taking the cautious approach.

"[He's] day-to-day," Julien said. "Again, there's no exact time for when he’s going to start playing again, but he's looking better every day. There's the rehab part of it that he's doing right now, so he started skating last Wednesday on his own and he's progressed since then. When you're gone for that long, you don't just come back over night. So we're going to give him a chance and wait for our doctors to clear him."

Peverley will miss his 17th straight game Monday night. He has been out since suffering a third-degree MCL sprain in his right knee on Feb. 15 in Montreal, but could return to practice on Tuesday pending clearance for contact from the team's medical staff.

"I think so, but [Monday's morning skate] was non-contact," Julien said. "We'll see what the medical experts tell us, as far as when he can take contact, or how much he can take contact, that's why they're called day-to-day."

Peverley will need at least a few practices to get his timing and stamina back to be ready for game action, but he hopes to be ready in time to play in some regular-season games before being thrust right into the intensity of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"It takes a couple weeks," Peverley said. "Right now it’s just about getting used to the pace again. It's been almost five weeks now [since the injury]. It's going to take a few practices for sure.

"Getting a few games in is going to help for sure," Peverley added. "I'm going need a few to get the pace back. Everybody's kind of playing at a playoff mode right now, so just getting that pace back is going to be big."

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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