Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul has been cleared for contact, according to head coach Randy Carlyle on Friday afternoon.
Lupul has missed the majority of the 2013 regular season with a broken forearm. The injury was sustained after Lupul was hit in the arm with a slap shot from Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf on Jan. 23. The initial projection for his return was expected to come in mid-March.
According to Carlyle, Lupul will be available for Saturday night's game against the Winnipeg Jets. However, no decision has been made whether he will play.
The 29-year-old forward returned to practice on Monday morning. Following a solo session where he worked on wrist shots, backhand shots, one-timers and skating drills, Lupul joined the team for the first time since sustaining the injury. Skating for approximately 30 minutes, Lupul participated in rushes with the fourth line.
Prior to the injury, Lupul had registered zero points in three games.