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Zdeno Chara leaves practice early with leg injury

Sep 19, 2011, 4:06 PM EDT

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Zdeno Chara AP

For a team that battled through three seven-game series in the four rounds of the 2011 playoffs, the Boston Bruins were a relatively healthy bunch after they hoisted the Stanley Cup. Sure, there were definitely moments here and there – Patrice Bergeron fought through another concussion, for one thing – but they seemed spry compared to their banged-up opponents in Vancouver.

That healthy, mostly intact roster justifies arguments that they might be primed for a strong title defense in 2011-12, but a huge amount of their success hinges on Zdeno Chara. The dominant blueliner plays minutes that are almost in proportion to his gargantuan stature, so seeing him leave the ice early is a cause for concern.

That’s exactly what happened today, as Chara suffered a leg contusion during a Bruins scrimmage after a shot hit the inside of his left leg.

“Right now it’s a contusion and we’ll evaluate as we go along here,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “This is training camp and if he needs an extra day here, we’ll give him an extra day. If not, then he’ll be back on the ice tomorrow.”

If Julien’s comment is any indication, it might not be a serious injury. We’ll keep an eye out for updates about his status either way, though.

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