BOSTON — David Pastrnak returned to the ice last week. It remains to be seen, however, when the young Boston Bruins winger will be ready to return to the lineup.
“No timeline yet on him,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Monday’s morning skate at TD Garden. “Whatever we do with him will be up to upper management.”
Pastrnak has missed each of Boston’s last 18 games as he recovers from a fractured foot suffered during an Oct. 27 win over the Arizona Coyotes. That streak almost certainly will reach 19, as the young winger is not expected to play in the Bruins’ home matchup with the Edmonton Oilers.
In his first public comments since returning to the ice, Pastrnak, who practiced with his teammates Monday at morning skate, said he has “no pain” in his foot but remains unsure of when he’ll be reactivated.
“It was, I think, seven weeks, because it wasn’t a good injury,” the 19-year-old said. “(It was) better to take more time and get it fully healthy and then get the quick(ness) back. And I’m going to miss another game, so we’re taking it slowly. And like I said, it’s nice to be back on the ice.”
At the moment, conditioning remains Pastrnak’s greatest hurdle.
“Definitely,” he said. “Like I said, it was seven weeks. I was on the bike and stuff, but nothing compares to skating. It’s hard, obviously, but I’ve been skating for a week now. Like I said, there’s no timetable. (I’m going to) take it slowly and practice hard every day.”
Pastrnak skated on Boston’s second line before his injury, but the new second unit of Matt Beleskey, David Krejci and Loui Eriksson has been productive of late. Once Pastrnak is fit enough to return, he’ll most likely be slotted into the third line, perhaps in place of struggling right wing Jimmy Hayes.
There’s also a chance Pastrnak, who has two goals and two assists in 10 games this season, could play a few games in Providence before rejoining the big club. He said he would accept an AHL assignment if that is what’s asked of him.
“That’s not a question for me,” Pastrnak said. “It’s more for the organization. I’m happy to be in this organization, and whatever they want me to do, I will have to do.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins left wing David Pastrnak during a game against Winnipeg.