Boston - Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard has at last returned to the ice, as he was removed from long-term injured reserve and is playing in Thursday's game against Tampa Bay.
Savard returns to the ice after a long struggle with the effects of a concussion suffered more than eight months ago.
Savard was cleared for contact last week, but wasn't activated until Thursday.
Savard's problems began when he suffered a Grade 2 concussion when hit by a blind-side elbow from Penguins forward Matt Cooke in a game at Pittsburgh on March 7.
Savard missed the remainder of the regular season while recovering from post- concussion syndrome, then was absent for the Bruins' six-game triumph over Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs.
He returned to participate in all seven games of Boston's conference semifinal loss to the Flyers, posting a goal and two assists, but revealed in the off- season that he still felt the effects of the original incident.
Savard was limited to just 41 games in 2009-10, posting 10 goals and 23 assists.
The 33-year-old Ottawa native comes back just as forward Marco Sturm may be exiting in a trade to Los Angeles.
TSN of Canada reported earlier Thursday that Sturm waived his no-trade clause in order to be dealt to the Kings, but TSN's Bob McKenzie indicated later in the evening that the deal is held up due to injury concerns.
Sturm has yet to play this season while recovering from surgery to repair tears to the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Both injuries were sustained in Game 1 of last May's Eastern Conference semifinals.