The Anaheim Ducks
are about to get a big boost in their bid to stay among the top eight teams in the Western Conference.
, who hasn't played since Dec. 28 because of multiple nasal sinus fractures, has been cleared to practice and could rejoin the lineup during a three-game road trip next month, the club announced. Getzlaf had a follow-up CT scan and has been cleared to skate with the team when it returns to practice Monday at Honda Center.
Getzlaf is expected to be held out of Anaheim's first two games after the All-Star break against San Jose and at Colorado, but could be back when the team plays three games in Western Canada on Feb. 9-13. He has 13 goals and 37 points in 40 games for the Ducks this season.
Anaheim is currently fifth in the Western Conference, but only five points separate fourth place from 11th and the Ducks have played at least one more game than all of their competitors for a playoff spot. The Ducks have won nine of 12 since Getzlaf's injury to keep pace without their top center.