Bruins' McAvoy (MCL) aiming to return for playoffs

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is hoping to return from the medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee with time to get some regular-season games underneath his belt before Boston begin its playoff run.

The team announced Tuesday that McAvoy will be re-evaluated in four weeks after suffering the injury against the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday. McAvoy told reporters Thursday he isn't exactly sure how he got hurt.

"Just one of those crazy things," he said. "I've never had any knee problems, lower-body things like that. I've played thousands of hockey games at whatever level, nothing like that. Just kind of felt a little confused as to what happened. Guess I hit a rut or my leg was a little relaxed, whatever it may be. Just accept it now and now we're on to rehab."

McAvoy has shined in his first full season after making his debut in the NHL playoffs last year. He has seven goals and 25 assists in 59 games, mostly playing alongside captain Zdeno Chara on the first defensive pair.

"My goal is to get back as fast as I can, as fast as possible," McAvoy said. "That's my goal. But that being said, I'm not putting myself at risk to come back early to potentially hurt it again, hurt the knee or the team if that's the scenario. But we're working hard here, and we have a good game plan as to the necessary steps. So I'm confident that I'll be back.

"My ultimate goal would be back for regular-season games to give myself an opportunity to kind of get up to pace and find my game a bit before the playoffs. But I mean, whatever happens, there'll be a reason behind it, and I'll stay positive."

The Bruins appear to be a near certainty for the playoffs at second place in the Atlantic Division with 90 points, which is the second most in the Eastern Conference behind the Atlantic-leading Tampa Bay Lightning (96 points).

--Field Level Media

03/08/2018 16:08

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