WILMINGTON, Mass. — Marco Sturm is getting close to a return to action. He just doesn't know who he will be playing for when he does make it back.
Sturm continues to make progress in his recovery from offseason knee surgery and stated he expects to be back in the next 10-14 days. He started facing contact in practice for the first time on Monday, and Wednesday he ditched the green jersey he had been wearing with the other spare forwards for a more familiar yellow one as he worked his way into drills with Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler.
"Those are my boys, so that was fun to battle with them again," said Sturm. "It's been a while, so that was great."
Facing contact again has been a positive for Sturm, but while his leg is standing up to the increased demands, he still has some work to do to fully trust his reconstructed knee in all situations.
"It was weird, but good," said Sturm of the contact drills. "It's not the knee right now, it's not the leg, it's just the head. I did it for two good practices and it felt good, but I still have to trust myself a little more and get mentally prepared again."
Sturm has more weighing on his mind than just the condition of his knee. He also has to deal with an uncertain future.
Sturm waived his no-trade clause last Thursday, but a reported deal with Los Angeles fell through over concerns about the injury. Sturm admits he now doesn't know whether he still will be dealt or if he'll play again for Boston.
"Honestly, I don't know anymore," said Sturm. "I expected it, but it's been a while again, so I just don't know."
Sturm met with Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli last week and waived his no-trade clause then, but has had no further discussion with Chiarelli since then.
"Nothing, I didn't talk to him once since last week and that's it," said Sturm. "I'm happy I'm still here, but I'm not happy with the situation. It's hard on me and my family, too. It's not fun, but I've just got to make the best of it and we'll see what happens.
"My focus is just to try to get healthy and get back on the ice and hopefully things get squared soon so I know what's going on," added Sturm.
Sturm still feels he'll be ready to return to action within two weeks, and the continued practices and rehab sessions have helped keep his mind off the off-ice issues a bit.
"I'm still hoping for 10-14 days here," said Sturm. "But things can change next week, too. I've just got to see how I feel and go from there.
"The thing is I'm hurt and I have to get back on the ice," added Sturm. "And that keeps me on track and keeps me happy. Every day I feel better. … Every practice I feel more comfortable."