Savard cleared to return

Updated: April 21, 2010, 6:48 AM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Marc Savard is one step closer to returning to the Bruins' lineup.

Tthe Bruins forward passed his neuro-psyche test Tuesday afternoon and has been cleared to rejoin the team. He has skated on his own the last two days and now he'll be able to continue his conditioning with the rest of his team. It is still unclear when he'll be able to return to game action. It's likely the Bruins will be cautious in deciding a timetable for his comeback.

Savard
Savard

"I have to be realistic here, and when I'm 100 percent condition-wise and mentally positive I can do this, I'll be ready to go," Savard said.

During his twirl on the ice Tuesday morning, Savard was able to work on stops and starts and said he felt pretty good.

The neurological test was done on a computer and consisted of choosing the right numbers and colors when asked, according to Savard.

He suffered a Grade 2 concussion March 7 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh on a hit by Matt Cooke, and didn't believe he would be able to return this season.

He began to feel better on April 9.

Savard skated for the first time Monday at the TD Garden prior to the Bruins' Game 3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

"I feel great," he said Monday.

Savard's presence was definitely a welcome sign in the Bruins' locker room.

"It's great. It's good news, especially first and foremost for his health," Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron said Monday. "It's tough to come back from and I'm just happy he seems to be feeling better. It's great news and for us it gives us a boost."

Bergeron knows how Savard is feeling at this point. Bergeron suffered a Grade 3 concussion in October 2007 and missed the rest of the 2007-08 season.

He began to feel better in April and wanted to come back in time for Game 6 or 7 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens.

The medical staff thought it would be best for Bergeron not to come back too soon, however. Boston eventually lost that series.

"Looking back at it, it was probably the best thing for me and I'm sure the doctors are going to do the same thing with Savy," Bergeron said. "They're going to look at it and they're going to make the best decision. They're not going to risk anything just because he's ready."

Bruins coach Claude Julien preached patience on Monday when talking about Savard, stressing that he needed to get back into game shape before returning.

"He's obviously feeling better, which is an extremely good sign for our hockey club," Julien said. "If you're going to be fair to the player and fair to the team, you've got to give him a chance to get back in shape and that doesn't happen overnight. We have to take it one step at a time and see how he does. Hopefully he continues to get better and the quicker will be good for everyone."

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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