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Injured Devils star Zach Parise cleared to start skating; Can he play this season?

Mar 2, 2011, 7:12 PM EDT

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Zach Parise AP

The Devils’ season has, for the most part, been a huge loss and the bad news began almost instantly upon the start of the season when star winger Zach Parise went down with a torn meniscus in November. The injury put Parise’s season in jeopardy but the news is improving now for both him and the Devils.

Today, Parise was given clearance to begin light skating for the first time since November. For Devils fans who have been delusions of grandeur about making the playoffs after such a brutal start to the season, it’s an added dose of hope for having an extra weapon should the Devils close the gap to the eighth spot a little bit more.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello says that Parise will skate for at least 2-3 weeks and then they’ll see where he’s at after that. Is it possible we see Parise back on the ice this season?  Lamoriello is thinking it’s possible.

Lamoriello said it is still possible Parise will play this season.

“I would think so, but to what extent I couldn’t answer,” he said. “When you get to this point of any injury, the last 10 percent, 15 percent is the most difficult. Getting up to a certain point, you get there and then it’s getting everything where it should be because you haven’t been active for quite a while. When you shut your leg down and your knee down for this amount of time and you’re doing other exercises, you’re working different parts of your body, you’ve got to be very, very careful when you come back.”

Parise actually has to build up strength in both of his legs because he hasn’t used either to skate for four months. Lamoriello said Parise will continue to do physical therapy on his knee as well to help build strength.

In 2-3 weeks time the season is virtually over with at that point. If the Devils are within striking distance of getting in the playoffs then, is there any way possible you keep Parise off the ice if he’s even 60% ready to play? I know if I were in his shoes I’d be faking doctors notes to get back on the ice to help the team get in the playoffs at that point.

It’s still a bit of a long shot for the Devils to make the playoffs meaning it’s probably as equal of a long shot to get Parise back on the ice this season. Just imagine the dueling comeback stories though if the Devils are able to get back in the playoffs and it’s Parise who helps put them over the top. We’re betting that there’s a guy in Hollywood writing the script for the movie just based on the idea right now.

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