When the Bruins lost defenseman Derek Forbort to a broken finger back on November 1st, it was a significant blow to their blue line. He has been one of the Bruins’ best defensemen this season, as he and Connor Clifton have stood out. While Forbort may not bring much offense to the blue line, his shutdown defense and ability to block shots have been a major plus, especially when the Bruins needed him the most early on.
The Bruins received good news today as Forbort was a full participant in practice down in Florida. The blue liner had been skating on his own for several days but joined the full group for the late-morning twirl at FLA Live Arena ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting with the Panthers.
“That was the plan all along,” Forbort said of traveling with the team for their brief two-game swing through the Sunshine State. “It was fun to get back out there with the guys today. I think [I’m] pretty on schedule. The finger feels good. Pretty much everything. My hands didn’t feel like they got any worse, which is hard to say. It’s good. Just trying to get the shooting back, that’s kind of the last step.”
While Forbort is back on the ice with his teammates, head coach Jim Montgomery is still sticking with the original timeline of four to six weeks, stating that it has not changed. This is no surprise, as he did the same thing with Matt Grzelcyk, Brad Marchand, and Charlie McAvoy regarding their early returns from offseason surgery.
The 30-year-old blue liner underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery on Nov. 3, putting him on track for an early- to mid-December return.
“There’s no updated timeline on him. He’s just starting to get a lot of skates in him because when the upper-body injury heals to where we like it, he’ll be in skating condition,” said Montgomery.
“When they told me four to six weeks, I was like, ‘What? How is that possible for just a finger?'” added Forbort. “It’s just the way the break was. It [stinks] but we’re getting back to it now.”
While there is certainly no rush for Forbort to get back in the lineup as the Bruins continue their winning ways, having one of their better defensemen back on the ice during this tough stretch of games would be helpful. The Bruins are coming off a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night and face the Florida Panthers tomorrow night.
One thing is for sure the Forbort will be making his return after Thanksgiving, giving him plenty of time to rest up and ensure his finger is fully healed before taking the ice against opponents.