For semiconductor lasers subject to a delayed optical feedback, branches of steady states sequentially appear as the feedback rate is increased. But branches of time-periodic solutions are connecting pairs of steady states and provide bridges between stable and unstable modes. All bridges experience a change of stability through a torus bifurcation point. Close to the bifurcation point, the torus remains localized Dear a specific fixed point in phase space. As the feedback rate increases, the torus envelope suddenly unfolds and its trajectory visits two or more unstable fixed points, anticipating the rich dynamics observed at larger feedback rates.