Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar was cleared for contact in Pittsburgh's Monday practice at Mellon Arena.
Gonchar, who participated in his first team practice this season on Jan. 15, had previously worn a red "no contact" jersey. However, the All-Star blueliner discarded the red jersey and had on a black jersey, marking another important step towards his recovery.
Gonchar has not played a regular-season game this year due to a shoulder injury he suffered after absorbing a hit from David Koci Sept. 20 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the team's preseason opener.
Gonchar accompanied the team on its recent road trip to New Jersey and Toronto. He will continue to travel with the Penguins but no return date has been set.