BRIGHTON -- There is some mystery shrouded in the upper body injury of second-year defenseman Charlie McAvoy, and the Bruins admitted Thursday there is indeed “concern” as things linger on without a return date in sight.

It’s difficult to pinpoint even when exactly the 20-year-old McAvoy was injured, though it appears to have occured in the Oct. 11 win over the Oilers when he absorbed a big hit from old friend Milan Lucic. McAvoy played a couple more games and then came out of the lineup after the Oct. 18 loss to the Oilers in Edmonton with complaints that he “wasn’t feeling right.”

Now McAvoy is on injured reserve and has been out for a couple of weeks, and hasn’t skated since getting on the ice once last weekend. There’s no certainty from the Bruins as to whether the injury is a concussion, a shoulder injury or something else.

McAvoy was at the B's practice facility working out off the ice on Thursday, so it's positive news that the young D-man is feeling better on some level. But there’s no timetable for him to be back on the ice and certainly no date for him to return to game action.

“It’s stretched out a little now," said coach Bruce Cassidy. "We had no idea when it first happened. We related that, and we still don’t [have an idea] to some extent. So yeah . . . there’s a bit of concern.

“He’s a 20-year-old and you want him to be in the lineup a) for selfish reasons because he’s one of our top defenseman and b) for his own well-being. I think at that age all he wants to do is go to the rink and play every day. Hopefully whatever it is he turns the corner sooner rather than later for his sake and for ours.”


Urho Vaakanainen (concussion) hasn’t skated since suffering his injury in Ottawa. Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) skated on his own prior to Thursday’s practice and is “questionable” for Saturday night. In the good news department, David Backes skated again through a full practice on Thursday and looks like he’s going to be able to return on Saturday night against the Predators in Nashville. 

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