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Peter Forsberg is returning to the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche. ((D. Zalubowski/Associated Press) )

Free-agent forward Peter Forsberg confirmed Monday that he is returning to the Colorado Avalanche for the rest of the season.

Forsberg, 34, agreed to a one-year, $5-million US contract with Colorado pro-rated through the end of the season, which means he will pocket about $1.1 million US.

"I am looking forward to putting this jersey on again," said Forsberg, who posted 741 points in 580 games with the Avalanche.

"I have so many great memories of my playing days in Denver. I am excited about helping my new teammates and former teammates in the coming weeks, and, hopefully, I am able to do that in the very near future."

Colorado sits four points shy of Forsberg's most recent NHL team, the Nashville Predators, for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

But the Avalanche recently welcomed back injured regulars Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny.

"It is a real good lineup," Forsberg said. "We can make a run."

"[Peter] should complement our roster and will bring our team to an even higher competitive level," Avalanche general manager Francois Giguere said.

Forsberg has spent the past year in his native Sweden trying to recover from chronic foot problems that had him contemplating retirement.

"I never really wanted to believe it was over," Forsberg said. "I don't feel that old.

"I feel like, if I can solve this, I could play for a while. I never really gave up hope." 

Yet last Monday, he issued a statement through his agent, Don Baizley, that he wasn't expecting to play this season.

"I always wanted to be honest with teams coming down the stretch," Forsberg said. "I was, like, 'If you want to go in a different direction, please do. Don't wait for me.'

"I didn't want to be a burden. That is why I came out and said that."

Forsberg underwent separate surgeries on both ankles in 2006, getting the bones realigned and lax ligaments firmed up because they affected his balance and put undue stress on his abdomen.

He split 57 games between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Predators last season, finishing with 13 goals and 45 points.

"I feel good," Forsberg said. "I'm confident that it is going to be good."

Five-time all-star

Forsberg, a five-time all-star, has totalled 248 goals and 623 assists for 871 points in 697 games with the Quebec Nordiques, Avalanche, Flyers and Predators since being selected sixth overall in the 1991 NHL draft.

He captured the Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie in 1995 and was voted the league's most valuable player in 2003.

Forsberg won Stanley Cups with Colorado in 1996 and 2001, and helped Sweden capture the gold medal at the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games.

With files from the Associated Press