WILMINGTON, Mass. — After the Boston Bruins went through more than an hour of practice drills, winger Phil Kessel took the ice for some light shooting with his mates and then a bag skate with assistant coach Doug Houda.

Kessel hasn’t played since Jan. 10 because of mononucleosis, which — as I learned today — is an inflamation of the spleen, which cleans the blood. (Props to Dr.  Kevin Paul Dupont for that information.)

But while Kessel  has to  avoid all contact, he can do a few things to start on his road to a return.

“When you have mono, a guy like him can’t take any contact … due to the spleen. That’s why he stepped onto the ice afterwards,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “Even if he wasn’t participating in battle drills, if he collided with somebody there’s a danger. So that’s why we kind of put him on the ice later.

“His condition could change any day. If he gets tested and his spleen is fine, then he’s free to go. He feels good. Obviously he’s feeling much better, he seems to have lots of energy. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the medical clearance.”