David Backes hasn’t played since both he and Ottawa’s Scott Sabourin were injured in a scary collision in a game on Nov. 2, but he took a step closer to a return on Saturday.

For the first time since that game, Backes skated with his teammates while donning a red noncontact jersey during the Bruins’ optional morning skate ahead of their game with the Wild.

They’re not sure about a timetable for his return, but getting back on the ice is a positive for a guy who’s had a history of head injuries.

“It’s good, a scary situation obviously for both players there against Ottawa,” said Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s taken some time away from the rink and he’s kind of checking the boxes to get back in the lineup now, get back out on the ice. That’s step one.”

Backes had one assist in eight games before he went down during a hit in the first period against the Senators that hospitalized Sabourin and put him on a stretcher off the ice. Backes went off and didn’t return, and while the team categorized it as an upper body injury, all indication has been he’s been in concussion protocol.

“This is an individual decision first,” said Cassidy. “Then you talk with the team, obviously, to make sure everything is done properly because once you’ve had a few head injuries, you’ve got to be really careful. Our situation, we don’t need to rush anybody back right now, no matter who it is, especially in this situation. We’re being as careful as we need to be, along with the individual’s consent. That’s where it’s at. I couldn’t even tell you what’s next until you see him in a practice jersey, which I don’t know when that will be yet.”

AFTER A rough contest against the Sabres, Urho Vaakanainen was sent back to Providence ahead of Saturday’s game with the Wild. He was expendable with Torey Krug returning to the lineup.

Vaakanainen, 20, didn’t add a point in five games and noticeably struggled in his last couple. Krug suffered an upper body injury against the Flyers two weeks ago and had been out since.

Connor Clifton was also a scratch on Saturday, with Steven Kampfer getting into his third game of the season. Clifton is just three games away from being eligible for waivers to be sent down, so some more games off might be in his future while John Moore and Kevan Miller work on returning from injuries.

PAR LINDHOLM was cut during his first shift against the Sabres and didn’t practice on Friday. He was out on Saturday with Brett Ritchie returning to the lineup from dealing with an infection issue, but according to Cassidy, Lindholm may have sat out anyway since Ritchie plays on the right side and Charlie Coyle could move back to center.

“He might have been the guy (out) anyway, but this is a little bit of precaution too, (Friday) not even skating.”

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