New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has been cleared to return to practice. More importantly, Staal who has been recovering from a concussion, has been cleared to take hits in practice.
Staal sustained a concussion during a Feb. 22, 2011, game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Rangers plan on using Staal during the season, but there is no timeline for his return to game action.
After practice this morning, Staal said
"I did some battle drills down low, took some hits," Staal said at his locker after a hard post-practice skate with Monday night's scratches led by assistant coach Mike Sullivan. "It was good. Obviously I didn't feel great after two days off, physically, but I felt good enough to start doing drills." (via New York Daily News)
Staal feels that he will be back before the end of the season.
"I think (given) the rate of improvement the last month or so, I feel that I'll be back."