Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Sunday that forward David Backes will return from injury for the team’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
“The team was extremely supportive, and I’ve been given a clean bill of health,” Backes told reporters Saturday via NHL.com. “You know my history as far as if I’m playing when I’m at full health or not. I’m hopefully going to be available as soon as [Sunday] and then it would be up to the powers that be whether 42 can slot into the game to help us win another one.”
Backes missed nearly an entire month following a scary collision with Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin on Nov. 2 that forced him out of the game. The 34-year-old has a long history with head injuries and spent the remainder of the month assessing his health completely before returning to the ice for practice in a non-contact jersey last week.
“Multiple neurologists have told me there’s no reason for me to be hesitant, to worry about more contact, more hits because you’re doing fine,” Backes said on Saturday.
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Backes said he has stayed in touch with Sabourin since the incident and called the entire situation earlier this month “extremely scary” for the Senators rookie’s family.
“If that’s my wife and my parents, and my kids seeing that – I didn’t know Scott from anybody in the world really before that incident, but he’s got a fiancée, found out his parents were watching, hometown Ottawa kid,” he said. “That’s got to be extremely scary for all those people. At the same time, [I’m] worried about my own health with a long history of hits like that.”
According to NHL.com, Backes estimates he has suffered 10 concussions in his lifetime and grew concerned about his long-term health after this latest injury.
In seven games this season, the 6-3, 215-pound forward has one assist and a plus/minus rating of minus-1, along with three takeaways.