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Kurtis Foster, seen with the Minnesota Wild during the 2007-08 season, is on the comeback trail. ((Jeff Gross/Getty Images))

Defenceman Kurtis Foster was back on the ice Sunday night, playing for the Houston Aeros in their 6-3 victory over the Chicago Wolves in American Hockey League action.

Foster, 27, is hoping to make it back to the NHL's Minnesota Wild after an absence of nearly one year.

Foster was playing for the Wild last March 19 against San Jose when he fractured his left leg in a collision with Torrey Mitchell as both players were chasing the puck on a potential icing call.

He had a steel rod inserted in his femur to keep it in place.

Foster told Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada in December that the injury, which occurred four months before his wedding, put things in perspective.

"When it happened, all I cared about was hockey and could I play again," he said. "But after the surgery [when] I found out what they had to do and what happened, I'm lucky to walk."

Foster has 20 goals and 51 assists in 176 NHL games with Minnesota and the Atlanta Thrashers. The Carp, Ont., native was originally drafted by Calgary in 2000.

Foster told HNIC  that Mitchell was "almost over-apologetic" after the incident.

Mitchell himself suffered a broken leg in a collision six months later. He also made his comeback in the AHL, in January, but is back on the sidelines after suffering a setback.

Jesse Schultz scored twice in Sunday's game to lead Houston. Foster didn't get on the scoresheet, finishing with two penalty minutes.