Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman cleared for contact

Victor Hedman has missed 17 games since breaking his right ring finger against the Canucks on Oct. 18.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman continued to show progress in his recovery from a broken right finger by skating Wednesday morning in a regular practice jersey.

Hedman, 23, had skated with a red jersey in recent days as he went about his rehab process. By wearing a regular jersey, it means he’s cleared for contact.

"I’ve been excited now for a couple weeks," Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness said of Hedman’s progress. "What was really exciting was that he had a regular jersey on today, not a red jersey on today. That’s a good thing. So he’s getting closer."   

Hedman sustained the injury in a victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 18. He has missed 17 games, and Bowness said Hedman is "very, very close" to a return. Earlier this month, coach Jon Cooper said Hedman could possibly come back in early December.   

Hedman had three goals and four assists in five games before the injury.   

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