Canadiens' Markov cleared for contact in practice Staff

11/22/2011 1:03:31 PM

Montreal Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov continues to make progress in his comeback from knee surgery.

On Tuesday, the injured defencemen took to the ice at practice without a no-contact jersey. It's the first time he has been cleared for contact since he tore his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments nearly a year ago in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin told reporters after practice that because of the club's busy stretch of upcoming games, there won't be many opportunities for what he called "hard practices" in which Markov can engage in contact. Subsequently he doesn't have any clearer of an estimate of when Markov will return to game action.

Martin said last Friday that the injured defenceman would not suit up for the team before December.

The Canadiens re-signed Markov to a three-year contract worth $5.75 million per season last June.