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Habs’ Gionta shoots for late September return

Sep 17, 2013, 7:58 PM EDT

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Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta might be able to play in the team’s Oct. 1 season opener, after all.

The 34-year-old winger is recovering from a torn left bicep that sidelined him during the 2013 playoffs, an injury originally believed to cost him the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign. Progress seems to be going better than expected, however, as TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that Gionta’s aiming to play in late September and should be cleared for contact later this week.

Gionta scored 26 points in 48 regular season contests in 2013 before collecting an assist in two postseason contests.

The undersized forward’s $5 million cap hit is set to expire next summer, so he has plenty to play for in 2013-14, especially as someone who will register as a 35+ contract (he turns 35 next January).

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