When Charlie McAvoy was diagnosed with an MCL sprain March 6, the Boston Bruins planned to re-evaluate him in a month. All along, the general belief has been that McAvoy, who suffered the injury March 3 against the Montreal Canadiens, would return sometime in April, hopefully before the Stanley Cup playoffs.

And even that outlook seemed optimistic, considering how “scared” the rookie defenseman felt after tweaking his knee.

But there’s a chance the rookie defenseman arrives way, way ahead of schedule. Here’s Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy’s latest update on McAvoy and fellow injured blueliner Zdeno Chara, per The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont:

Reminder: The Bruins play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, March 29.

Even if neither player suits up against Tampa, the fact that both are so close to returning is encouraging news for the banged-up B’s and their fans. And, aside from injured forward Rick Nash, it sounds like Boston has further reinforcements on the way.

Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images