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PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 20: Derek Forbort #28 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal with Erik Haula #56 in front of Oskar Lindblom #23 of the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period at the Wells Fargo Center on November 20, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Some much-needed help appears to be on the way for a shorthanded Boston defense, with Derek Forbort activated out of the NHL’s COVID protocols Friday.

“Forbort’s skating today, so he’s out of COVID protocols,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed ahead of an optional practice. “So that’s one [we’ll get back in action Saturday] assuming things go well [Friday] and he recovers well.”

Out of action for the last three games, Forbort was one of three defensemen in the COVID protocols and out of action for Thursday’s win over the Flyers, with Connor Clifton and Matt Grzelcyk also unavailable to the Bruins.

Cassidy believes that Forbort will be the only one available to the Bruins on Saturday against the Predators, with a 1 p.m. puck drop working against the Bruins.

“I don’t believe anybody else would come out,” Cassidy said. “Clifton was the next guy in and he may come out [Saturday], but obviously with one o’clock game, I don’t know if that’s realistic. I guess Grizz has an opportunity to test out because he’s also in it, but it’d be a quick turnaround, too. So right now we’re looking at Forbort.”

The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Forbort has tallied four goals and seven points, along with 43 hits snd 34 blocked shots, in 31 games for the Bruins this season.

And with Forbort expected back in action, the Bruins will scratch either Jack Ahcan or Tyler Lewington.

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