- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder, sidelined since mid-January due to a blood clot in his lower left leg, has been cleared to play and will be available for his team's Stanley Cup finals series against the Los Angeles Kings.
"I'm cleared, but it's not my decision if I'm going to play," Tallinder said. "But I'm ready if they need me."
Devils coach Peter DeBoer said he had "no apprehension" about playing Tallinder.
However, Tallinder doesn't expect to play in Game 1 on Wednesday night given how well the team has been performing without him in the lineup.
Tallinder skated with rookie Adam Larsson on the team's extra pairing during Monday's practice.
"It kills me not to be out there, but (at the same time) you know how rare it is to be in the finals," Tallinder said.
The 33-year-old returned to practice on May 18. He had to take blood thinners for three months to get rid of the clot.
Tallinder has not played since Jan. 17 against the Winnipeg Jets.
Before being sidelined, Tallinder had six assists in 39 games for New Jersey.
He is currently in the second season of a four-year, $13.5 million contract he signed in 2010.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor for ESPNNewYork.com.
15hDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com