Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said tonight that third-year forward Phil Kessel, diagnosed this afternoon with mononculeosis, could be out of the lineup for approximately a month.
''The general assessment of mononucleosis is that a guy is typically out around a month,'' said Chiarelli. ''That said, it could be longer, could be shorter...all based on how an individual recovers.''
The Bruins will play 13 games over the next month.
For now, said Chiarelli, he remains faithful that the kids from Providence can keep doing the job, help the Bruins maintain their standing atop the Eastern Conference.
''Before being hit by this epidemic, so to speak,'' said Chiarelli, ''I had made a few calls and received a few calls [from other GMs]. And even with the injuries to Marco and Bergy, we weren't on a full-scale search for help. We've got faith in the kids we call up, and in the meantime, we'll continue to assess.''