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Aaron Rodgers

McCarthy: Packers' Rodgers preparing to play this weekend

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers stayed afloat in the postseason race while hoping for nearly two months that Aaron Rodgers would return.

News that the two-time NFL MVP was cleared medically to return from a collarbone injury finally arrived Tuesday night, coming a bit later than coach Mike McCarthy hoped — but well worth the wait for the playoff-hopeful Packers.

Rodgers is in line to start this weekend against the Carolina Panthers.

"Next step is preparing to play this week," McCarthy said before practice Wednesday.