Chris Kelly broke his left tibia in Chris Neil collision; Bruins forward out indefinitely

On Wednesday morning, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told Toucher & Rich on 98.5 FM in Boston that Chris Kelly’s injured leg didn’t appear too serious:

“I know it was a lot better yesterday. I don’t think there is any structural damage so we’ll see in the next couple of days,” he said.

[Also: Anaheim's Perry suspended four games by NHL for hit on Jason Zucker]

"I think he’ll be fine.”

Or not so fine. Later in the day, Chiarelli issued a statement revealing the extent of Kelly’s injury, suffered on that knee-on-knee collision with Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators on Monday night:

“Chris Kelly will be out indefinitely after breaking his left tibia in the second period of Monday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.”

Kelly has skated in 23 games this season and has registered two goals and four assists with 12 penalty minutes.

According to the Boston Globe, doctors needed to wait for swelling in Kelly’s knee to subside before issuing a definitive diagnosis. It did, and they did.

Kelly is third among Bruins forwards in shorthanded ice time at 2:25 per game. He’s a dependable faceoff guy (60.6 percent) who anchored the third line, a role Rich Peverley took on in Tuesday night’s loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Joe Haggerty sees this as the end of Kelly’s regular season, considering the six-week rehab timeline associated with the injury. If so, one wonders how this changes things for Chiarelli at the trade deadline, having lost a valuable role player that thrived during the Bruins’ last Cup run.

Meanwhile, we’re sure this further endears Chris Neil to Bruins fans, accident or not.

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