Andre Ward (hand) cleared for training

Updated: February 16, 2012, 3:24 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Unified super middleweight champion Andre Ward has received medical clearance to resume using his left hand, as long as it feels OK.

Ward fractured his hand in two places in his final sparring session before outpointing Carl Froch in their unification fight in the final of Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic on Dec. 17 in Atlantic City, N.J.

Ward (25-0, 13 KOs), of Oakland, Calif., went through with the fight not knowing for sure that his hand was broken until having an MRI exam following the bout.

"Andre went to the doctor and the hand is healing up nicely, and now he is cleared to move forward utilizing the hand as he feels ready to use it," promoter Dan Goossen said.

Ward, 27, took some time off after the fight, including a family vacation to Hawaii. Now, with the hand ready to go, Ward said he is anxious to return to the ring.

"It went well," Ward said of his recent doctor's visit. "The hand is much better, somewhere around 90 percent. The key is to let pain be my guide. If something hurts, don't do it."

Goossen said he is just beginning to get into the particulars of what the next move will be for Ward.

"The most important aspect was to make sure Andre is healthy," Goossen said. "Now we'll start moving forward with making big fights."

The biggest fight in the 168-pound division would be for Ward, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, to meet titlist Lucian Bute in a unification bout. That is the fight Showtime has designs on. Showtime holds an option on Ward's next fight and has Bute under contract as well.

Goossen offered no specific timeframe or opponent for Ward's return, although he does have a mandatory defense of one of his alphabet belts due against Anthony Dirrell.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.