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Canadian Press
1/5/2007 12:51:09 PM

BOSTON (CP) - The Boston Bruins assigned rookie Phil Kessel to Providence of the American Hockey League on Friday for a three-game conditioning stint, the latest step in his recovery from successful testicular-cancer treatment.

The centre, sidelined since Dec. 11, will be recalled to the NHL on Sunday night following Providence's game against the Springfield Falcons.

Kessel practised with the Bruins on Wednesday for the first time since his surgery and worked out with them again Thursday morning.

"At just 19 years old and in his first season in the NHL, it would be difficult for Phil to come right back to Boston in the middle of the season, after being off the ice for a month," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.

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