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Foster takes next step in return from broken femur @NHLdotcom

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -The Minnesota Wild assigned defensemen Kurtis Foster to their American Hockey League affiliate in Houston on Sunday to start a conditioning assignment.

Foster has not played since breaking his left femur on March 19, 2008 in San Jose.

Despite playing in only 56 games last season, Foster finished third among the team's defensemen with 19 points.

He was scheduled to play with the Aeros against the Chicago Wolves on Sunday night. Just how long he remains with Houston depends on how he responds to the game action. The NHL allows for two weeks of conditioning time in the minors before a player has to be called up.

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