PITTSBURGH (AP) – John LeClair returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lineup Thursday night after missing three games with several broken bones in his right cheekbone.

LeClair was struck by a puck just below his right eye during the team’s pregame skate Saturday in Boston. The Penguins listed him as being out indefinitely as late as Wednesday, when they finished a five-game road trip by losing 5-0 in Atlanta.

LeClair played Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens with a full plastic face shield, and not the protective visor many players now wear. Previously, the team said that it would not know how long LeClair would be out until the swelling went down in his face.

LeClair received medical clearance to play, and was told it was a matter of how well he could tolerate the pain associated with the injury.

The 36-year-old LeClair, a former All-Star with the Philadelphia Flyers, had four goals in the four games before getting hurt. In his first 13 games this season, LeClair had five goals and five assists.

AP-ES-11-10-05 2009EST


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