Connolly glad to get bumped

He may not be ready to handle the bruising Flyers just yet, but Tim Connolly believes he is moving much closer to finally making his regular-season debut as a Maple Leaf.

The veteran forward, who is eventually expected to centre the big line of Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, has been cleared for contact and took his first friendly fire from teammates during Sunday’s practice at the Wells Fargo Center.

“It was good to get some bumping in,” said Connolly, who has been out of the lineup since crashing hard into the MasterCard Centre boards during a training camp practice. “I had a few contact drills and some one-on-one stuff in the corners with some of our bigger defencemen.

“I’ll probably have to do a few more contact days and kind of work into it and after that I should be ready to go. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow and do a little bit more and get bumped a little bit harder. Today was a step in the right direction for me.”

As frustrating as it has been not to get a chance to play, Connolly says his rehab has been made easier by the fact that his teammates have been off to a winning start without him. But as the team’s big free-agent signing in July, the former Sabre is anxious to contribute to the good vibe around him.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/10/23/connolly-glad-to-get-bumped