WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins had a couple of extra bodies back on defense for their practice Monday at Ristuccia Arena, but their top-line center remained absent.
David Krejci missed another practice as he remains sidelined with a core injury suffered in practice last Tuesday. He did skate on his own before his teammates took the ice and is making progress, but coach Claude Julien doesn't expect Krejci to be in the lineup Tuesday night when Carolina comes to the Garden.
"David skated this morning," Julien said. "He's coming around. Probably doubtful for [Tuesday], but after that I would really qualify him as day-to-day."
The news was better on the blue line, where Adam McQuaid (neck) and Steven Kampfer (knee) both returned to practice. McQuaid missed Saturday's game in Chicago with headaches and neck pain after tumbling awkwardly into the boards in the third period of Wednesday's loss to the Hurricanes in Carolina.
"It feels good, it feels good just to be back out with the guys and skating again," McQuaid said. "We'll see how things go here the rest of the day and [Tuesday]."
McQuaid has a chance to play Tuesday in the rematch with the Hurricanes, but his status won't be determined until close to game time. The Bruins don't believe McQuaid suffered a concussion in his fall, but have proceeded with the same precautions they would if it were a concussion.
"McQuaid's been good," Julien said. "He's done every test that he has to go through right now, the biking and exertion and all that stuff. So things are going well. His headaches are nonexistent, which again, we felt it was probably more the neck injury that was causing that and it seems to be going that way, but we're treating it as a concussion because that's the safest route to take. So he's going to go through all the tests and we'll see how it is [Tuesday]."
It's been a frustrating start to the season for McQuaid, who missed the opener with an illness and was just getting back to full strength when this injury occurred.
"It's definitely not the way I was hoping to get started," McQuaid said. "Even having come back from being sick, I still wasn't feeling as good as I wanted to be. I'm just looking forward to getting back feeling good again and getting things going here."
McQuaid suffered a similar injury in the playoffs when he crashed into the boards on a missed check in Philadelphia. He was diagnosed with a sprained neck and missed two games before returning for the start of the conference final against Tampa Bay. This injury isn't as severe, but the previous incident may have contributed to his current condition.
"The neck obviously still a bit from what happened in the playoffs," McQuaid said. "I find that it doesn't take much to make my neck sore now. But at least that's stuff you can deal with."
Kampfer is further away from returning from a sprained MCL in his left knee. He returned to practice on Monday, but has not been cleared for contact yet.