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Jets look forward to return of injured players

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The Winnipeg Jets are starting to see healthy bodies emerging from their infirmary -- but the help will unlikely be in time for Tuesday’s match-up against the Stanley-Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Defenceman Ron Hainsey was the latest to return to work Monday as he skated with the team at their morning practice. But he was to be further evaluated Monday afternoon before a decision will be made as to his availability. The veteran defender has appeared in only five games this year and, after recently returning from injury for one game after missing 16, took a shot off the foot and has been out for the last five contests.

"I’m still a little iffy," Hainsey said. "There’s a pretty large open cut from a shot I blocked in my first game back in Washington and it couldn’t be stitched because of where it was on the front of my ankle, it’s right where the skate hits. It’s just in a terrible spot… I still have my sock on so we’ll see how much bleeding and opening of it we did today and we’ll go from there.

"It’s been almost two weeks. It’s just in a weird spot and I’ve got to worry about infection, about it opening up and all that stuff. We’ll look at it here after I’m done with this and go from there."

The Jets hope to have Nik Antropov and Eric Fehr available by this weekend, Brett Festerling has been cleared to return while Tobias Enstrom is skating with the team and will likely be available at the end of the month.

The Jets play host to the Bruins Tuesday (7:30 p.m., TSN Jets/TSN Sports Radio). Boston is in Pittsburgh Monday night before flying to Winnipeg.

"They’re unbelievable," said Jets’ head coach Claude Noel. "I mean, they’re 9-0-1 in their last 10 and you look at their lineup and almost every player is a plus player, their goaltending has been great and look at their defensive numbers -- 51 goals against (No. 1-ranked defensively)… they’re a tough team to play against."

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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