Kelly medically cleared, due back tonight

BOSTON -- After missing 14 games due to a broken left tibia, Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly has been medically cleared and will likely return to the lineup tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.

“We expect him to be in the lineup tonight,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien after the team’s optional morning skate.

If the lines remain the same as they were Sunday’s practice, Kelly will center Daniel Paille and Tyler Seguin.

Prior to being injured on March 11 at Ottawa, Kelly had two goals and four assists for six points in 23 games this season.

Julien expects the centerman to just play his game.

“We don’t expect anything more out of any player when they come back,” Julien said. “He’s going to ease his way into it with probably short shifts, but he’s going to keep his game simple and that’s what anybody coming back from an injury would do. Hopefully, not gain confidence, but gain momentum as the game wears on.”

When he first suffered the injury, Kelly’s goal was to return in time for the playoffs, and he’s accomplished that.

“It’s been tough,” Kelly said of the rehab process. “It’s been a lot of good days. That was the one thing that was positive because there was no real setbacks and every day I came in I was able to do a little more and push it a little bit more. The training staff, and everyone here, give them credit because they did a great job, knowing how hard to push me and knowing exactly what to do to make this as quick as possible.”