Patrice Bergeron absorbed contact Tuesday for the first time since suffering a mild concussion, he traveled with the Bruins yesterday and now it just appears to be a matter of the center receiving medical clearance to play.

Provided there are no setbacks, Bergeron could be in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Lightning as soon as tonight for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals at the St. Pete Times Forum, or possibly on Saturday for Game 4.

Coach Claude Julien said Bergeron will take the morning skate today and the team will go from there.

"I have a feeling that at that point there are going to be discussions on whether he is ready to go or not," Julien said. "So I can't tell you right now whether he is in or not, and that's being honest, but he's certainly inching closer to making a return as long as there are no setbacks. And as you know those are things that you always have to keep in the back of your mind, with no pun intended, but you have to keep that in mind. He could have setbacks and right now we are just trying to move forward and hopefully keep our fingers crossed that nothing but the best comes out of it."

Julien said he believes Bergeron's conditioning is such that, when he returns, he can resume normal duties, which most likely would be centering the second line between Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand. With the way the line of Tyler Seguin, Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder played in Game 2, Julien will certainly be inclined to keep that combination together.