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Mar 10, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

The Boston Bruins were expected to begin the first week (at least) of the 2021 season without Brad Marchand.

But that timeline may have changed based on Marchand’s recent progress from his offseason sports hernia repair surgery, according to the latest update on him from B’s general manager Don Sweeney.

“Marchy is doing really well,” Sweeney offered. “He’s been on the ice pretty much every day. He will start to integrate into the main group of players from day one of training camp. It’s more of a volume and comfort level for him. He’s done a lot of work on and off the ice and finding his hands and his timing and his overall conditioning.”

Under the knife on Sept. 14, the initial report on Marchand’s recovery called for a four-month recovery from the date of surgery. That would, best case scenario, mean that Marchand was 100 percent by Jan. 14, which so happens to be the date of Boston’s season-opening head-to-head with the New Jersey Devils.

This update from Sweeney would indicate that they are indeed on the best case scenario timeline, but they’re also going to be as careful as can be when throwing No. 63 back into the fire.

“We’ll be careful with it but he’s made a nice progression,” said Sweeney. “Remains to be seen where we are as we move through camp and how he feels as a result of that as he introduces contact and such.”

In the case of Marchand’s linemate, David Pastrnak, who underwent a hip procedure that came with a five-month recovery timeline back in September, the return to action remains a ways away.

“David is certainly a longer timeline to return to play and be back on ice in a regular fashion,” Sweeney acknowledged. “He won’t initially integrate into the main practice group as he increases the volume in his own return to play. It’s unlikely he starts the opening couple games but we’re going to monitor week-by-week and we’ll continue to give you updates as they progress.”

The Bruins, who have been holding informal, voluntary skates at Warrior Ice Arena for the last week plus, will officially begin training camp Jan. 3 and open their 2021 season in New Jersey.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.