All-star center Mario Lemieux, whose rehabilitation from back problems has gone better than expected, plans to resume practicing with the Pittsburgh Penguins next Monday.

Lemieux skated with his teammates for an hour Wednesday -- the longest he's been on the ice since September -- and hopes to resume playing after the Jan. 19 NHL All-Star Game.

Lemieux missed 21 of the Penguins' final 22 games last season with a herniated disk, which required surgery July 11.

After training camp began, doctors discovered a bone infection that kept him bed-ridden for several weeks. He has not played this season.


Brett Hull, a high-scoring right wing for the St. Louis Blues, set a record in leading the voting for the all-star game.

Hull, the son of hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull, received 432,879 votes, the most since fan balloting began six seasons ago.

He earned a starting spot on the Campbell Conference team that will start in the game on Jan. 19 at Chicago, the league said Thursday.

Joining Hull up front will be Los Angeles Kings teammates Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille. Gretzky led the Campbell centers with 218,797 votes, while Robitaille, a left wing, got 168,968 votes.