BOSTON — The holding pattern continues for Marc Savard.
The Bruins' center is close to completing his long road back from the post-concussion issues that have kept him out of the lineup for the entire season to this point. But not even Savard is certain how close he is to playing again.
Savard was one of a handful of Bruins who skated in an optional workout Thursday morning in preparation for Thursday night's game against Tampa Bay. Savard could make his season debut in the game, but no decision has been made yet.
"It's the same thing," Savard said Thursday. "I haven't heard anything. I'm meeting with [general manager] Peter [Chiarelli] and [head coach] Claude [Julien] later today, so right now I'm just kind of leaving it in their hands. I feel ready, but still it's up to them."
Julien also stated that no decision had been made.
"I don't want to get too far ahead with predicting anything before I have an answer," said the B's coach when asked to update Savard's status. Julien did, however, confirm that Savard's return is imminent.
"I think we've got as much as we can out of him in practice," said Julien. "He's at that stage where he's pretty close to having reached his max with conditioning."
As for what the final hurdles Savard must clear, Savard felt it mostly had to doing with getting his timing back.
"I just think it's getting up to speed, that is the issue," said Savard. "I've obviously had some practices now and I feel like I'm caught up mostly. When I do get a chance to play I'm not sure how many minutes I'll play, but I just can't wait to get the opportunity to get back in there, whether it's 12 [minutes], 15 or 25."
Savard flashed the trademark smile that has been absent for so long when he added that last part, perhaps the best sign yet that he is indeed ready to return.
"I feel great, every day has been great," said Savard. "You don't realize what you have sometimes until you lose it a bit. I'm really looking forward to getting back in there and I'm just excited to be at the rink every day."