BOSTON -– While the Bruins received some bad news on the injury front with Nathan Horton suffering a setback in his recovery from a concussion, there was more positive report from the guy who came to Boston with Horton.
Center Gregory Campbell has been hobbled since suffering a broken foot against Columbus back on Dec. 10. He missed just three games, returning on Dec. 19 against Montreal, but continued to play through pain while the injury healed.
Within the last couple weeks, the healing has finally completed, though Campbell still feels the occasional jolt of pain if he hits the foot the wrong way.
“It’s fine,” Campbell told NESN.com after practice Friday at the Garden. “I don’t have any issues with it anymore.”
That wasn’t the case for much of the last two months since suffering the injury though. While he showed his toughness by playing through the pain, Campbell admitted it did affect some of the things he tried to do on the ice.
“It’s not a huge issue,” said Campbell, who was acquired from Florida along with Horton for Dennis Wideman and first- and third-round picks in June 2010. “Everybody plays through things. There’s probably not a single guy in here that’s not playing through something. I guess it was just in a bad spot where at the start of the injury it wasn’t as easy to make those sharp turns and those quick stops and those instinctive plays and moves you make throughout a game. In practice you can kind of nurse it as bit, but in games you don’t have that luxury. It was something that did affect my game, but it just was something I had to deal with.”
Campbell dealt with it pretty well. He’s scored four of his six goals this season in the 21 games since he returned from his brief three-game absence, and also had three of his six fights in that span. He trails only Shawn Thornton on the team in that category, and he’s remained effective in the rest of his game as well.
Campbell hasn’t shied away from getting in front of pucks, as his 37 blocked shots trail just Patrice Bergeron among Bruins forwards, and his 61 hits are sixth on the team and third among forwards behind Milan Lucic and Thornton. He’s also won 53.7 percent of the faceoffs he’s taken and played a key role on the penalty kill, averaging 12:53 a game, with 1:49 of that coming shorthanded.
He’s maintained that level of play despite the injury, and could be poised for an even stronger finish to the season now that the foot has healed.
“With a broken bone it’s usually four to six weeks before it’s fully healed,” said Campbell, who has 6-7-13 totals and a plus-6 rating overall in 49 games this season. “Occasionally I feel it a bit if I bump it into something, if I hit it on the boards or whatever, but it’s nothing that affects me. I can’t remember the last time I thought about it during a game, so it’s a non-issue.”