Patrice Bergeron's return from a Grade 3 concussion gained a bit of momentum yesterday following what general manager Peter Chiarelli termed an "encouraging" report after the 22-year-old center underwent another neurological exam at Massachusetts General Hospital.
According to Chiarelli, Bergeron, who was knocked unconscious in an Oct. 27 game at TD Banknorth Garden against Philadelphia, could attempt his first "very light workout" later this week.
"So, it's good news," said Chiarelli, talking outside his ninth-floor box at the Garden last night following the second period of the Bruins-Senators match. "The last week and a half, he's been in good spirits, and his demeanor has been good. So, it's positive, but at the same time we still have to be very, very cautious."
Bergeron, said Chiarelli, likely will start with some low-impact exercise, such as riding a stationary bike. The team's medical staff thus far has been reluctant to allow Bergeron to do anything more than take leisurely walks.
"I haven't talked to him yet," said Chiarelli, who was informed of the MGH report by the club's training staff. "Exactly when he starts, what he does, and how much . . . it will be a feeling-out process. But the good news is, it sounds like it's moving in the right direction."
KEVIN PAUL DUPONT