Chara skates, but ‘not close’ to ready; Bruins send Griffith to AHL

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From CSN New England:

In perhaps the best Bruins news in weeks, Zdeno Chara was spotted skating on the TD Garden ice Monday for the first time since tearing the PCL in his left knee at the end of October. The 6-foot-9 defenseman was skating on his own while a charity event was going on around him, continuing a recent progression that has the Bruins more optimistic about his eventual return to the lineup.

While encouraging, don’t expect Chara to be back in the lineup anytime too soon.

“It’s a start . . . yeah, it’s a start,” said coach Claude Julien. “He’s certainly not close to being ready yet. It’s his first time in a long time. It’s always encouraging to see your player back on his skates, that’s for sure.”

When Chara was hurt on Oct. 23, the estimate pegged his return sometime between late November and early December. Given it’s already Nov. 24, it’s going to be the latter estimate. Maybe even later than that.

At any rate, the Bruins have done well without their big d-man, going 9-4-0 in 13 games.

Boston also announced today that it has assigned forward Seth Griffith to AHL Providence.

Brad Marchand, meanwhile, has been taken off injured reserve, and he’ll be a game-time decision for tonight’s clash with the Pens.

Related: Chara updates rehab progress, calls its ‘such a slow process’