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Prust nearing a return, Dumont and Pateryn back with the Bulldogs

The injured reserve for the Canadiens is almost completely empty, so it's time for no excuses.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens have announced that Brandon Prust is nearing a return to the lineup, noting that he took part in practice with a normal contact jersey for the first time this morning.

Prust noted that he's throwing some body checks during practice to test his shoulder, but only on select players.

"I tried it out today against a couple of the guys. I'll stay away from a guy like Douglas [Murray] for sure before Friday, but for now, Danny [Briere] and David Desharnais are getting a taste."

With Prust nearing a return and Alexei Emelin confirmed to return this weekend, the Canadiens have elected to return Gabriel Dumont and Greg Pateryn to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Dumont had a solid first game against Long Island, but was overwhelmed against Tampa Bay.

It's unclear whether the Habs will make another short term call up for Friday and Saturday night's games to fill the last forward spot, insert George Parros into the lineup, or if Prust will play, but I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope it isn't the Parros option.

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