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Bruins' Ward out of Pittsburgh hospital; playing status unclear

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -Boston Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward was released from a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday, one day after he suffered a neck injury in game against the Penguins.

Ward was returning to Boston, where team doctors will evaluate him Friday, team spokesman Matthew Chmura said. No decision will be made on Ward's playing status until after the exam, Chmura said.

Ward left the game after Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar raised his arm and stick and appeared to accidentally strike Ward in the throat. No penalty was assessed on the play, which occurred early in the second period.

Ward wasn't bleeding, but had to be helped from the ice. Coach Claude Julien later said that Ward was coughing up blood as he was led away, but the team has not disclosed the exact nature of Ward's injury.

The Bruins won the game 2-1.

Boston next plays Saturday night in Toronto.

Ward's neck injury came three days after Florida right wing Richard Zednik's neck was accidentally cut by teammate Olli Jokinen's skate, cutting his carotid artery.

This season, Ward has four goals and five assists in 43 games, missing 13 games with a concussion, ankle and foot injuries.

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