The Boston Bruins are close to getting a forward back but at the same time will be without one for a little bit.
It has not taken long for the injury bug to bite the Bruins this season. Nick Foligno is on injured reserve, Anton Blidh is hurt and Curtis Lazar had yet to appear in a game this season due to an upper-body injury.
However, Lazar is knocking on the door to returning in time for the Bruins’ road trip, which will see them play the Florida Panthers on Wednesday and Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday before returning home. Craig Smith, who is dealing with an undisclosed injury, won’t travel after missing Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
Lazar, who had the inside track for a job on the fourth line, got hurt during a preseason game, but the exact issue was unclear. He revealed Tuesday that it was an elbow subluxation that nearly required surgery. Had he gotten the surgery, it would have kept him out much of the season, possibly until around the playoffs.
“We actually were very close to (surgery),” Lazar told reporters Tuesday. “I’m very fortunate to have avoided that. Lot of credit to the training staff here, as well, to help me get back ahead of my timeline.
“Spirits are high, I’m feeling good. I’m ready to go.”
It’s unclear how the Bruins will proceed with Lazar should he be ready in time for Wednesday’s game, seeing as it will be the first leg of a back-to-back. Personnel-wise, he will replace either Jack Studnicka or Oskar Steen in the lineup.