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Habs send Bozon back to junior ‘to fully regain his physical strength’

Kootenay Ice v Kelowna Rockets

KELOWNA, CANADA - DECEMBER 7: Tim Bozon #20 of the Kootenay Ice skates against the Kelowna Rockets on December 7, 2013 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Marissa Baecker

The Montreal Canadiens sent prospect Tim Bozon -- who, this summer, successfully recovered from near-fatal meningitis -- back to his junior team in WHL Kootenay on Friday

“Tim Bozon has come a long way,” Habs GM Marc Bergevin said in a statement. “He fought a life-threatening disease with courage and determination and we are pleased with what he accomplished in the last few months. He was able to take part in the rookie camp, the Canadiens’ official camp and the Hamilton Bulldogs training camp.

“However, with his progression having been diminished due to illness, we feel that one of the priorities for his long term development is for him to fully regain his physical strength. We believe that joining the Kootenay Ice in the WHL is the right decision at this time as it will allow Tim to fully recover.”

Bozon, 20, lost approximately 40 pounds while in hospital (he was placed in a medically-induced coma during his stay) and will likely benefit from another year in junior. He was a prolific scorer with the Ice prior to falling ill last season, scoring 62 points in 50 games.