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Letang, Bennett Will Return to Practice Monday

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and forward Beau Bennett have been cleared for full practice by doctors and will participate in the team’s Monday afternoon practice.

Both players are not limited in anyway during the practice, though there is no timeframe for when either will return to the lineup.

Letang, 26, suffered a stroke on Jan. 29 and has been out of the lineup since. He was on blood thinners for six weeks as part of his recovery period. Sunday marked the final day of that six-week period.

“We had an idea that at this point in time he could possibly be cleared to practice,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He still has some other things to go through. He’s been working out, skating on his own and doing quite a bit on his own.

“To see Kris return to practice tomorrow will be a good thing for Kris, good thing for us.”

Bennett, 22, has been practicing with the team since March 9 and met with doctors this weekend to re-evaluate his hand/wrist injury.

Bennett originally suffered the injury Nov. 22 in a 4-3 win against the New York Islanders. Bennett underwent surgery three days later. He suffered a setback on Feb. 25, but began been skating on his own Jan. 9.

The Penguins have amassed the highest total of man-games lost due to injury in the NHL. The current figure sits at 413. Bylsma hopes his team can stop adding to that count. James Neal (concussion) and Chris Kunitz (lower-body) were recently added and missed the past two games for the team.

“It’s better than subtracting guys from our lineup, which we’ve done,” Bylsma said of Letang's and Bennett's progress.

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