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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Updated: March 18, 3:16 PM ET
Max Pacioretty could return for playoffs

Associated Press

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said Max Pacioretty might be able to return from his neck injury in time for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Team doctors told Martin that Pacioretty can resume training, with contact, in three to five weeks. After another week of rest, he will begin rehab. The playoffs begin April 13.

It's "good news that he'll be able to practice," especially because it looked as if "his career was in danger," Martin said Thursday.

Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion and a non-displaced fracture of the fourth vertebra in his neck when his head slammed into a stanchion at Bell Centre because of a hit from Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara on March 8.

The NHL did not suspend Chara for the hit.