Savard cleared for non-contact practice

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard passed a conditioning test and has been cleared to practice with the team in a no-contact capacity, general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday. Savard has yet to play this season due to post-concussion syndrome.

Savard must still pass a neuro-psych test before being cleared to take part in contact drills.

"This morning he passed one of the tests, which was a conditioning test, so he's able to practice with the team, non-contact and he can do line drills and non-contact drills, so that's good news," Chiarelli said Friday at Ristuccia Arena. "He's got a couple more tests to do. They're going to take place next week, and after that he'll be able to contact."

Savard is scheduled to travel with the Bruins on their upcoming Florida road trip at Tampa Bay on Monday and then at Florida on Wednesday. Chiarelli said that Savard would love to be in the lineup Saturday but for now they will take this latest dose of good news.

"If Marc were to have his druthers, he'd be back with the team two weeks ago," Chiarelli said. "That's what Marc's all about. It's good news. We're on a crunch of games here it seems where it looks like we're in a compressed schedule here, so it will be good to get a player of his caliber back. This is a real positive step to getting him back."

Bruins coach Claude Julien was also pleased by the news.

"I think it's been encouraging news for everybody involved," Julien said. "It's been a long road for him to get to where he is right now. We'll continue to take it step-by-step but it's certainly encouraging."

While Chiarelli admitted he has a target date in mind for the crafty center to return, he would not reveal it due to the nature of post-concussion syndrome.

"I've got one in mind but I'm not going to disclose it," the GM said. "These things change. It could be earlier, or it could be later. This is a real big step, and the tests coming up are big steps, so he's passed every test to date and this is a big one also."