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January 12, 2012 | 10:40am ET
Skinner cleared for contact
TheFourthPeriod.com

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner has been cleared for contact after suffering a concussion on Dec. 7 against the Edmonton Oilers, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

The 19-year-old has missed the past 14 games and had been practicing with a non-contact jersey until Wednesday morning, when he received medical clearance to participate in full practice.

"There's not a lot of huge hits in practice but it's nice to participate in all the drills," Skinner told the News & Observer. "A little bit of pushing and shoving, it works on your lungs. I need to get through these couple of first contact practices and get my legs back."

There is a chance he could return to the lineup for Thursday's road game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The young forward will be re-evaluated following Thursday's morning skate in Tampa, and will be a game-time decision against the Lightning.

"We'd love to see him in (the lineup) tomorrow but we have to be cautious," coach Kirk Muller added. "Once he talks to the doctors and gets the feedback ... I just said let me know when he gets the green light."

In 30 games with the Canes this season, Skinner has accumulated 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points.

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