It's been less than three weeks since Boston Bruins forward David Backes underwent surgery to remove part of his colon due to diverticulitis, but it didn't take long for the veteran forward to return to the ice.

Backes made a surprise appearance during Boston's optional practice Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, skating with his teammates and shooting pucks while wearing a red, non-contact sweater.

"To be on the ice, moving around, nothing like sitting around and doing a whole lot of nothing for too long to make you feel like you're never going to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Backes said. "(I'm) feeling good. I don't know what everyone else's expectations were, but the doc's advice -- if it doesn't hurt, I can continue to progress and add more workload on and the circulation is good for healing. That's my update for the day."