Kessel to begin comeback in Providence

The Boston Bruins announced Friday that the team has assigned rookie center Phil Kessel to the Providence Bruins (AHL) for three games.

Providence plays home against Worcester on Friday and in Manchester on Saturday. Kessel will be recalled by Boston on Sunday night, after Providence’s game against the Springfield Falcons.

Kessel has been sidelined since Dec. 11 after being successfully treated for testicular cancer, and this stint in the AHL is for conditioning purposes.

"At just 19 years old and in his first season in the NHL, it would be difficult for Phil to come right back to Boston in the middle of the season, after being off the ice for a month," said Bruins general manager Phil Chiarelli. "These few games in Providence will help Phil re-adjust to the speed of the NHL so that he is ready to join Boston on Monday morning."

Kessel was Boston’s first pick (fifth overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He has appeared in 27 games for the Bruins this season, scoring five goals and recording four assists.