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Bertuzzi is nearly back from concussion

Times Staff Writer

The Ducks are anticipating the return of forward Todd Bertuzzi, who appears to be nearly recovered from the symptoms related to the concussion he suffered Oct. 14 against the Wild.

He has been cleared for full contact and is expected to practice today at Anaheim Ice, General Manager Brian Burke said.

Bertuzzi might accompany the team to Dallas for its game Wednesday against the Stars. Defenseman Mathieu Schneider is also expected to be back after missing two games with a sore hip.

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“I anticipate that for the first time, we’ll have our team all together,” Burke said.

Bertuzzi, who skated Monday without any problem, has missed 14 games since being hit by Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard. The winger has not had any symptoms since resuming his skating last week and has aggressively stepped up his workout regimen, Burke said.

The litmus test is whether Bertuzzi can handle full contact.

“It’s not an easy injury to recover from,” Burke said. “We’re very careful with any kind of injury like this. The last question I always like to ask our doctors is, ‘If this player was your son, would you allow him to play?’ ”

Burke acknowledged that he is limited in his ability to add a scoring forward because of Scott Niedermayer’s uncertain status. Niedermayer has said he would make a decision on playing this season in the coming weeks.

Burke said he hasn’t spoken with Niedermayer and would not push. “Every day, he’s walking away from $35,000,” Burke said. “He’s obviously wrestling with a tough decision. . . . He’s given his heart and soul to this game. Very few players I’d say that about.”

Meanwhile, Burke acquired center Brian Sutherby from the Washington Capitals for a 2009 second-round draft pick. Sutherby had 14 goals and 30 points two seasons ago. “He didn’t fit into their plans,” Burke said. “We think he can help us.”

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eric.stephens@latimes.com


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