Rask: Recovery ahead of schedule

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins injured goaltender Tuukka Rask said he’s ahead of schedule and could be back on the ice sometime next week.

Rask suffered a groin/abdominal injury on March 3 and was expected to miss four to six weeks. He said Wednesday that being ready for the playoffs is a realistic possibility.

“Yes. Yes, for sure,” he said. “We’re shooting for that and it’s looking good now.”

The Bruins have only six regular-season games remaining, and Rask does not know whether he’ll be ready to play in any of them.

“It’s tough to speculate,” he said. “You never know. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll hit the ice next week if everything goes good and go from there.”

He added, “You can’t rush these kinds of injuries, but hopefully.”

Rask also said the pain is gone but there’s still tightness and he’s working on getting his core strength back. When he first suffered the injury in the second period against the New York Islanders, the original diagnosis was four to six weeks; now it’s been a little over three weeks and he feels ahead of schedule.

“It’s good and hopefully it stays that way and we don’t have any setbacks,” he said.

Even though he has not been back on the ice since the injury, he’s been able to keep in relatively decent shape.

“I’m doing exercising, biking and all kinds of stuff,” he said. “It’s looking really good and I’m just trying to get the strength back and ready to go.”

After he suffered the injury, the Bruins signed veteran Marty Turco to back up goaltender Tim Thomas. Since Turco signed after the trade deadline, he’s not eligible for the postseason, so having Rask back in the mix is important for the team.

“I want to be back as soon as possible,” Rask said. “The playoffs was, and is, the goal.”