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Andrei Markov cleared for contact, practices with Canadiens

Mar 5, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT

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Andrei Markov; AP

Andrei Markov‘s recovery from knee problems the last two years has been rough to say the least. Markov hasn’t played in a game yet this season and has been out of action since November 2010.

You can imagine the surprise of Montreal fans this morning upon hearing that Markov has not only been cleared for contact but was practicing alongside Alexei Emelin.

Francois Gagnon in Montreal reports that Markov will be on the road trip with the Canadiens across Western Canada but does not have a date picked out for when he’ll be back. Markov told reporters, however, that he believes he’ll play this season. That’s a gutsy sentiment for a guy that hasn’t been able to play for over a season and a half.

With the Canadiens being virtually out of the hunt for the playoffs and sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference, you have to wonder about what the motivation is to get Markov back out on the ice is. After that much time off, getting back into a game comes with the risk of getting re-injured, especially when dealing with teams who have a dog left in the fight for the postseason.

Writing things off as a lost cause and letting Markov start with a blank slate next season wouldn’t be the worst idea.

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