BOSTON (CBS) - The Boston Bruins were off on Monday, but injured defenseman Andrew Ference was back on the ice as he works his way back from an injury.
Ference has been sidelined with what is believed to be a foot injury since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs nearly three weeks ago, but Bruins head coach Claude Julien said the defenseman has been skating the last few days.
"He's obviously on the mend, but I'm not ready to say he's ready to go here," Julien said Monday.
Ference was getting in some work with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides on Monday as the Bruins get some rest ahead of their Eastern Conference Final matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It's unclear if he will be able to return for the series, but Boston has gotten strong performances from young defensemen Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski. Should Ference return, it will make for a tough decision for Julien.
But Julien says that is just a testament to the team's depth, and chances are the veteran defenseman will be called upon at some point during the grind of the playoffs.
"The further you go I think it's pretty obvious to tell players that at one point we're going to need you so you need to stay ready. That's what we've done with the extra guys. They have worked extremely hard and have a great attitude. They are staying on top of their game the best they can," said Julien. "We've had to call upon guys to step in and they have done a great job. Every team goes through those situations. Playoffs are a tough time of the year when everyone does whatever it takes to win games."
Ference, who played the first three-plus seasons of his career in Pittsburgh, totaled 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) for the Bruins in 48 regular season games.
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