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Bruins clear Kelly, Hamilton for contact

Jan 24, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

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The Boston Bruins received some good news on Friday as injured forward Chris Kelly and sophomore defenseman Dougie Hamilton were cleared for contact, according to CSNNE.com.

Hamilton (concussion) appears to be closer to return than Kelly (broken right ankle), but both traveled with the team on their upcoming road trip to Philadelphia and Long Island. B’s head coach Claude Julien suggested both could be game-time decisions when Boston takes on the Flyers tomorrow.

Hamilton, 20, has suffered through an injury-plagued season, having already missed a month with a sprained MCL. His return will be big, especially since veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is done for the year with a torn ACL. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he’s going to be patient with his current defensive group before deciding to make a move to replace Seidenberg, meaning Hamilton will have a chance to prove he can handle a bigger load.

As for Kelly, there’s not a huge rush to get him back in. The Bruins miss his penalty killing and veteran leadership, but have gotten nice returns from a number of young replacement forwards this year, namely Ryan Spooner.

“[Kelly] has missed six weeks,” said Julien. “The game shape is the real question. We need to continue to do some battle drills with him.”

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