Patrice Bergeron Participates in Optional Skate

Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Mark Stuart, Tuukka Rask and Adam McQuaid were the only Bruins to take an optional skate Wednesday, as the rest of the team did off-ice workouts. Bergeron was wearing a splint on his right thumb and used his left hand to hold his stick.

The team's leading scorer said he wasn't in as much pain as one might expect with three non-displaced fractures at the tip of his thumb, and that two weeks does look like a feasible timetable.

"It's never good being injured and being off the ice, but at least, in [my] case, it was good news," Bergeron said on finding out he would only miss two weeks as opposed to six weeks, as was originally feared.

Bergeron was also happy to still be able to grip a stick.

"It's my bottom hand, so I'll be able to have one hand on my stick to skate at least. Obviously I feel better skating with a stick in my hands than not, so it's going to be fine for that."

Lucic, who hasn't played since Nov. 25 against Minnesota, says his time line for returning is much closer.

"Maybe Thursday, maybe Saturday, maybe next Wednesday. One of those three days; it all depends on how I feel [Thursday] morning."

Stuart, too, is feeling better and better by the day. He got a huge boost simply in being allowed to skate again.

"It was real tough at first, just new territory, and it wasn't a lot of fun," Stuart said of his rehabbing from his broken sternum. "It's still not fun, but you've just got to kind of take it in steps. Getting on the ice was a huge step. That was a big confidence booster for me. And [strength and conditioning coach John] Whitesides makes it easy too. He works you really hard but he keeps it light at the same time. So I've got to thank him for that because it's easy to get down in the dumps, especially with the Winter Classic and all that going on. But he made it fun, so that's good."

As for the newest member of the bruised and battered, defenseman Andrew Ference was not at practice and was seeing doctors for what was later disclosed to be a groin injury that will keep him out of action for about six weeks.

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