BOLTON — At every step of his rehab process, Gregory Campbell tried to push himself. He was on a stationary bike using one leg as soon as he was allowed to sweat. He watched his nutrition to make sure he wasn’t behind when he arrived at training camp.
Still, he can tell that his offseason has been different. He can feel it when he gets out on the ice.
“I’m trying to go 100 percent,” Campbell said Monday morning before the Bruins’ golf tournament at The International in Bolton. “I have to kind of go at my own level and make sure I’m progressing in a way that’s going to benefit me in the long run.
“So if there’s things I don’t feel comfortable doing, I kind of hold back a little bit. But I think that I’m close.”
Campbell, who broke his right fibula blocking a shot in last season’s playoffs, has skated with the Bruins three times. He doesn’t necessarily think he’s in game shape, but he sees improvements each time out. In the three-plus weeks until the season starts, he believes he’ll have time to get fully up to speed.
But that doesn’t mean he’s without discomfort. As he put it, “I think I’m going to feel [the break] for a while. There’s a certain time frame where it’s expected to be fully healed, but there’s weeks and months after that that you still feel the break. That’s where I’m at right now.”
Campbell has been using additional padding in his skates to try to alleviate some of the issues. He expects to use the padding in games in the regular season, as well. He said he barely feels the discomfort when he’s not on skates, but he acknowledged that the pain is something he’s going to have to “work through” on the ice.
“I think when I first get on the ice it’s a little more difficult for me to do certain things,” he said. “It takes a little bit more time for the area to heat up and kind of mold to my foot. So the longer I skate, the better I feel.”
Coach Claude Julien did note that the team will continue to monitor Campbell and, “He’ll have to be 100 percent to be in our lineup.”
Campbell has struggled somewhat being able to feel the screw that was inserted into the leg. He said he felt it instantly, but added, “I guess it would be naive of me to think that I wouldn’t feel the screws and the plate where there was something rubbing against it.”
The back-and-forth motion of skating exacerbates that.
He does not expect that the screw will have to be removed, but it’s a possibility. His surgeon assured him that the procedure would not be overly invasive and that there would not be an extensive rehab. If he did have to get it removed, Campbell believes it would happen next offseason.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid, who underwent surgery for a blood clot last offseason, had a far more normal summer this time around. His focus was on regaining strength and getting some down time before the season came around again. “Probably coming in feeling a little better than I have the last few years,” said McQuaid, who added that his strength wasn’t where he wanted it at the end of last season. “Stronger and just physically I’m feeling better.” . . . McQuaid said he and Torey Krug, who were paired in the playoffs, complemented each other well. The team will see competition for spots in the defensive rotation during training camp, with Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Dougie Hamilton fighting for opportunities. As McQuaid said, “I think we’re going to push one another and everyone’s going to be fighting for ice time and you’re going to want to be at your best to give yourself an opportunity to play.”
Patrice Bergeron, who showed up this season sporting his first tattoo, said that time seems to be the only thing that will cure him of the continued tenderness in his rib area. “They don’t necessarily know,” Bergeron said. “With the ribs, it does take a long time to go away, but at the same time it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong or I should stop doing some of the things I’ve been doing.” The center still believes he’ll be 100 percent for the start of the season . . . Julien was pleased with the performances in the rookie tournament in Florida over the weekend. “I liked what I saw,” said the coach. “There were a lot of guys that are just turning pro that got a good taste of it before they got to the main camp. So overall, very positive.” . . . Julien was asked about general manager Peter Chiarelli’s comment that the thing he was most proud of with the Bruins was hiring the coach. “Obviously when you’re a coach you like hearing those things because our job security is very minimal, right?” Julien said. “So it’s nice to see that my boss is still happy with the job I’ve done.”Amalie Benjamin can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.