Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/26/11

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrates against the Washington Capitals on February 4, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was cleared for contact for the first time during his recovery process from a severe concussion.

The 24-year-old Staal was able to participate in drills and took some hits from teammates during the team's practice on Monday.

"Today I felt fully confident going on the ice and taking some hits," Staal said. "There wasn't a doubt in my mind that that wasn't the right thing to do with the way I was feeling."

Staal suffered the concussion on a hit delivered by older brother Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes last season.

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