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Girard returning Sunday in 1st game since entering assistance program

Joe Sargent / National Hockey League / Getty

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard will return to the lineup Sunday against the San Jose Sharks, he confirmed to Colorado Hockey Now's Evan Rawal.

The contest will be Girard's first since entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. He announced on Nov. 24 that he sought treatment for "severe anxiety and depression" that led to alcohol abuse.

The 25-year-old spoke to reporters Saturday about his time away from the Avalanche and said he was "tired of hiding everything."

"Feels good to talk about it," Girard said. "If you need some help, it's OK to reach for some help."

Girard has appeared in 15 games this season, registering four points while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time. He's in his seventh campaign with the Avalanche after being acquired in a three-way trade featuring the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators in 2017.

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