MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Zach Gabbard nearly lost his life when he collapsed during a basketball game in January while playing for the Perham varsity basketball team.

Now almost a year later, Gabbard has been cleared by doctors to resume basketball practice. That’s according to his CaringBridge site. Gabbard would have to be cleared again by doctors to see game action.

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Gabbard collapsed during a game on Jan. 20 and went into cardiac arrest while he was on the floor. He had open heart surgery and has been recovering ever since. Perham played inspired basketball without him as the team went on to win the Class AA state title at the Target Center.

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Gabbard, who had been recovering at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, was able to leave the hospital and attend at least one game at last season’s state tournament. He was released from the hospital in June after five months of recovery.

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He’s now a senior at Perham and is listed on the basketball team’s roster. Perham plays St. Thomas Academy in the Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka High School on Saturday.