Kevan Miller could be nearing a return

Kevan Miller’s physical presence was missed in last season’s playoffs. –john tlumacki

Veteran Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, still recovering from a pair of kneecap fractures he sustained over a two-month stretch last spring, could engage in full-contact practices with the team next week, a substantial step toward returning to the lineup.

“Progressing well,’’ said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy following Thursday’s workout in Brighton, where Miller skated in a red (noncontact) sweater. “He looked good out there. There’s still a timeline, and I don’t think he’d be available for the next three games, anyway.’’

Miller, 32, exited the lineup upon fracturing the kneecap April 4 and was nearing a return to action at the end of May, only to have the same kneecap fracture, this time horizontally, during off-ice workouts during the club’s conference final matchup with the Hurricanes.