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Minnesota centre Pierre-Marc Bouchard nears return from concussion to Wild

ST PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild centre Pierre-Marc Bouchard has begun to participate in contact drills in practice, the latest progress in his comeback from a concussion.

Coach Todd Richards said Monday the team will increase the intensity of Bouchard's activities this week. Bouchard is not yet in good enough shape to play in a game, but he says he hopes to be ready soon.

Bouchard took a hit to the head in March 2009. He never fully recovered and after playing in the opener Bouchard sat out all of last season.

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