While it looks like a return is imminent for David Backes from his upper body injury, the forecast is a little murkier for second-year D-man Charlie McAvoy after he was placed on injured reserve by the Bruins on Tuesday. Both Backes and McAvoy are suspected to be recovering from concussions. It's unclear exactly when the D-man suffered his injury, but both players went out of the lineup after the Bruins' Oct. 18 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
Both players skated in the morning prior to team practice last Saturday ahead of Boston’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens, but only Backes practiced with the team on Monday morning even though he's still out for tonight’s road tilt vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. Bruce Cassidy wouldn’t, or couldn’t, say on Monday whether it was a day off or a setback for McAvoy following his return to the ice, and the player himself had said last weekend that he thought he’d “turned the corner” from his injury.
Cassidy didn’t have many answers when asked about it by reporters in Carolina on Tuesday as well.
"When is he going to be healthy? When is he going to be back skating? When is he going to be back practicing?” said Cassidy. “I don't have a good answer for that right now."
Clearly the McAvoy move to IR, retroactive to Oct. 18, gives the Bruins roster flexibility with the D-man currently on the shelf, and he’s already missed the minimum three games played or one week that’s required for any stay on the IR. The move is more than simply about roster flexibility given that McAvoy isn’t skating, however, and given that the Bruins don’t seem to have a good handle on when he’s going to be able to return.
It sure sounds like McAvoy had a setback in his recovery from the upper body injury, which many suspect dates all the way back to a hard hit the young defenseman received from Milan Lucic in Boston’s home win over the Oilers on Oct. 11.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.