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Associated Press
Jan 31, 2007, 3:49 PM EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Defenseman Bryan Berard was activated by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday after being sidelined since last season following back surgery.

Berard, 29, has missed the Blue Jackets' last 82 games, including the final 31 of last season. He had surgery last March on a herniated disk, and another operation in October to repair a different disk.

He scored 12 goals and had 20 assists in 44 games last season, setting the club record for goals by a defenseman. The Woonsocket, R.I., native has played in 554 career games and totaled 71 goals and 227 assists.

Berard was the 1997 NHL rookie of the year with the New York Islanders and won the Masterton Trophy in 2004 for best exemplifying the qualities of hockey.

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