Brodeur returns to practice; could play soon

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur was on the ice for practice Monday as he continues to recover from a back injury.

Brodeur was scratched from a scheduled start against Winnipeg on Feb. 24 after experiencing back soreness and was placed on injured reserve soon after. He has missed 12 games since his last start Feb. 21 against Washington.

The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer began skating on his own a week ago. He is unlikely to play Tuesday when the Devils host the New York Rangers, but could be the backup to Johan Hedberg.

"Let's how he feels in the morning and decide whether he'll back up," said Devils coach Pete DeBoer on Monday. "I'm not going to rush him or force him into that."

Brodeur owns a record of 8-2-3 with a 2.27 goals-against average and one shutout in 13 games this season.

Hedberg has started each game in Brodeur's absence and the Devils have a record of just 3-7-2 in that span.