Brad Marchand is returning to the Boston Bruins lineup way ahead of schedule.
The NHL's best all-around left wing had surgery on both hips in May and was expected to be out until Thanksgiving or potentially later.
That timetable is no longer relevant because Marchand is making his 2022-23 season debut Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden, per head coach Jim Montgomery.
The B's coach also noted that Marchand won't travel to Columbus for Friday's game against the Blue Jackets. It's not surprising that Marchand won't play in the second game of a back-to-back. It might be that way for a while.
The 34-year-old winger has led the Bruins in scoring the last two seasons and five of the last six. He's an elite two-way forward and a key contributor to both the power play and penalty kill.
The Bruins have a league-best 6-1-0 record entering Thursday.