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Almost ready to go

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

BANFF, AB -- The Calgary Flames not only saw captain Jarome Iginla return to practice on Tuesday but veteran pivot Brendan Morrison also skated with the group, fully cleared for contact.

"I think it's time I get involved in some contact and just test it that way a bit," Morrison said after practice. "I've been feeling good the past week here on the ice. I had a couple good practices, a couple good skates and now it's time to take that next step."

Pundits may question whether or not Morrison was cleared right after centerman Mikael Backlund suffered a broken finger, sidelining him for up to six weeks, but that simply isn't the case.

Morrison had wanted to participate in the three-on-three tournament the Flames played in during Sunday's practice but the trainers initially said no. Once they realized players weren't finishing their checks, they gave Morrison the go-ahead to take part in the scrimmages.

"I felt real good so the next morning I had a meeting with our surgeon and we got clearance."

The 36 year-old underwent off-season knee injury to repair a anterior cruciate ligament tear he suffered in March. After several months without skating, he hit the ice late in the summer to start rebuilding his strength.

However, he ran into an obstacle on the road to recovery. He tweaked his groin and was faced with more time in the yellow don't-touch-me jersey.

"Initially coming back, my knee felt good. I think it was just some compensation from my groin, skating at a high level again," he shrugged before adding he's injury-free. "The groin feels good, the knee feels good so hopefully we don't have anymore setbacks."

While Morrison has been cleared for contact, there is no guarantee he'll be ready to play on Saturday. He plans on preparing like he will be in the lineup but his fate isn't in his hands.

"Ultimately it's going to be up to the coaches," Morrison said. "We'll probably make a decision the night before but we'll see how it goes."

Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson

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