Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher has been cleared by team doctors and will play in Friday's Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins. 

The team confirmed his return to the lineup through a tweet posted following Thursday's practice at Gillette Stadium. 

The 23-year-old has missed 17 games with a hand injury that he suffered when blocking a shot. He was expected to miss six weeks following surgery to repair two fractured fingers. 

"Like I said from the start, I wouldn't come back if I didn't feel like I could help the team," said Gallagher.

"I didn't want to come back for selfish reasons. The doctors helped me to come back and play, and now hopefully I can contribute."

He has 19 points in 22 games this season and will provide a much-needed boost to the Canadiens, who are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games.

"In no way do I think I'm the answer. I just want to be a part of the solution," said Gallagher.

"We haven't lost the confidence, but we're still one of the better teams in the League if we go out and play like we can every night. Coming back today and practicing with the guys, the confidence is still there."