Bruins’ Kelly (broken tibia) skates, could return before end of regular season

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The Boston Bruins had a welcome participant at practice on Monday as Chris Kelly returned to the ice.

Kelly, 32, hasn’t played since suffering a broken tibia on a knee-on-knee hit from Ottawa’s Chris Neil on Mar. 12.

While he didn’t do much at practice — him and Adam McQuaid (shoulder) only skated briefly — it was another sign that Kelly could be back before the Bruins play their final game against Washington on Apr. 27.

“We’re expecting that he’ll be back prior to the end of the regular season,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told CSN New England. “His injury could have been a lot worse than it ended up being.”

In case you missed it, here’s the hit that injured Kelly:

Kelly called the collision a “hockey play” gone wrong and says Neil “has reached out a few times and he feels pretty badly.”

“I don’t think it was malicious by any means,” said Kelly.