Sturm is feeling better physically as he prepares to return from a torn MCL and ACL that has kept him out of the lineup since last May when he suffered the injury in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. But the mental side is where Sturm seems to be battling right now as he and his family remain in a state of limbo as to where he will be playing when he does return, which he expects to be within 10-14 days.
"I'm happy I'm still here but I'm not happy with the situation," Sturm acknowledged. "It's been hard on me, my family too and it's not fun, but I just try to make the best of it and see what happens. It's in the paper everywhere and it doesn't matter where we go; everyone is asking us and I have to answer a lot of calls and a lot of questions and it's not fun."
Sources from both teams indicated to ESPNBoston.com recently that a trade could still happen.
The NHL has a league-wide holiday trade freeze from December 19-29. If Sturm doesn't return before December 19, it would seem unlikely that he would be moved before the freeze ends. Sturm confirmed there were other teams interested in his services as of last Thursday. He also said no one in the organization had mentioned anything about him being sent to Providence in the AHL. He hasn't heard from Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli since last Thursday on whether a trade could still be in the works and does not know what the future holds for him.
"Nothing. Nothing. Nothing," Sturm said when asked if there's been any more info from Chiarelli regarding a possible trade. "I didn't talk to him once since last week and that's it. I think that question you gotta ask Peter. I don't know. I'm just focused on trying to get healthy, get back on the ice and hopefully things get squared soon so I know what's going on."
Sturm also informed the media that he was cleared for contact when Marc Savard received clearance on November 23 but the last two practices were the first time he actually participated in contact drills. He was happy to get tested physically and expects it will take a bit more time to feel normal again on the ice.
"We battled so that was good and I need more of that so a practice like today definitely helps me out," Sturm said. "It feels weird but good. I just need more practice that's all. I just gotta trust myself a little bit more and get mentally prepared again. But I think I'm on a good track here."
When Sturm is ready for action, the Bruins will have to make some kind of roster move because his salary will push the team over the salary cap.
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.