BOSTON (CBS) — David Backes has been cleared for contact, and could return to game action Thursday night when the Bruins host the Edmonton Oilers.

The B’s forward returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the last two games with a concussion. How he responds to that return on Thursday morning will determine whether or not he plays against Edmonton.

“This was a step forward today, playing in a full practice. We’ll see what tonight and tomorrow brings, and we’ll hopefully keep progressing,” Backes told reporters.

Backes said he wanted to play last Saturday against Buffalo, two days after he initially suffered the concussion, but it wasn’t a risk he or the team wanted to take.

“There is a difference between your head and your heart, and you have to be smart about these things,” said Backes. “I want to play tomorrow night — I want to play all the games. But we’ll make good decisions and have open conversations with the medical staff, the way we have throughout the whole process.”

Backes hinted that if he wasn’t back Thursday night, he’ll return Saturday night when Boston visits the Florida Panthers.

In his first season with the Bruins, Backes has nine goals and 10 assists in 33 games.


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