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Rangers' Staal cleared for contact in practice as he recovers from concussion

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Injured New York Rangers defenceman Marc Staal was cleared for contact, and took a few bumps on the ice from his teammates as he continues his recovery from a concussion.

Staal, who will turn 25 in January, has been out all season because of the effects of a concussion sustained in February when he was hit by his brother, Eric, of the Carolina Hurricanes. He has been skating in recent days and was cleared for light contact.

Staal was on the Madison Square Garden ice Monday morning in advance of the Rangers' game against the New York Islanders. There is still no timetable for his return to game action.

After skating on consecutive days last week, Staal talked to concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu and was told he could have contact following the two-day Christmas break if he felt well enough.

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