WILMINGTON – There was good news today for the Bruins, especially on defense, where they have been stretched thin of late. Dougie Hamilton (concussion) has been cleared for contact and participated fully in today’s practice.
Center Chris Kelly, who is recovering from a broken fibula, has also been cleared for contact.
It’s not yet known when either player will make his return to the lineup, but it could come as soon as tomorrow afternoon against the Flyers in Philadelphia. It appears that Hamilton is ahead of Kelly, given that he has been out for a shorter time.
Hamilton has missed the last four games with a concussion that he said he sustained in a game at Los Angeles Jan. 9. He played in a game after that, against San Jose two days later.
“It was pretty tough,” Hamilton said. “First couple days I guess were the toughest, frustrating with the headaches and everything. I kind of started to feel better, but still had my neck and headaches, and then when you don’t really do anything for a week, once you start skating again, it’s pretty hard to get back into shape and your legs aren’t feeling too good.
“I think now I feel pretty good and I feel a lot better about myself. Kind of relieved.”
Hamilton believes it was the first concussion of his career.
“I wasn’t sure,” he said. “I’d never really had anything like that. I didn’t really know and I played the rest of that game and the next game, so I could still play, but I just didn’t feel right.
"And after the game in San Jose, I didn’t feel good at all, so I kind of knew after that game that there was something more than the usual thing. So that’s kind of when I really realized it.”