Coach: Pacioretty may be back for playoffs

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The Associated Press
Thursday, March 17, 2011; 12:19 PM

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin says Max Pacioretty may be able to return from his neck injury in time for the NHL playoffs.

Team doctors told the coach that Pacioretty can resume training, with contact, in three to five weeks. After another week of rest, he will begin rehab. The playoffs begin April 13.

Martin says Thursday it's "good news that he'll be able to practice," especially since it looked like "his career was in danger."

Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion and a non-displaced fracture of the fourth vertebra in his neck when he slammed his head into a stanchion at the Bell Centre after a hit from Boston's Zdeno Chara on March 8.

The NHL did not suspend Chara for the hit.


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