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Little closer to rejoining Jets lineup

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A big part of the Winnipeg Jets offence is ready to return to the lineup.

Centre Bryan Little, who has been out of the lineup with a foot injury, skated by himself today and could be a part of the full-team practise Tuesday morning, before the club heads out to Montreal for a tilt against the Canadiens Wednesday night.

"It looks like Little might be ready to go," head coach Claude Noel told reporters. "We’re hoping he’s a player."

Little has missed six games after taking a shot off the foot in the first period in a game against the Anaheim Ducks (Dec. 17). While the Jets (19-14-5) are 4-1-1 in his absence, the club would welcome its No. 1 centre back skating between Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler.

Little has 11 goals and 20 points in 32 games this season.

The news wasn't as optimistic for Dustin Byfuglien, as his return might not come until the weekend at the earliest. The defenceman, who is dealing with a lower body injury, won’t start the four-game trip with the club, Noel said, adding he might be ready to join the team next week.

Meanwhile, Derek Meech is well on the road to recovery following a flare up of a nagging knee injury. Meech, wearing a red non-contact jersey Monday, skated with the club for the first time in months.

Though the Winnipeg-product lists himself as "day-to-day," he figures he’ll still need a little more time to get comfortable on the ice.

"Overall, I felt pretty decent," said Meech, who last played in a Oct. 20 game in Ottawa. "There’s still some soreness there and some uncertainty, but I think we’re on the right track."

Meech said he’s a little timid with the knee and said he just needs to build up some self-trust on what he can and can’t do as he works to get back to full strength.

Forward Tanner Glass was given the day off for maintenance. The Jets are back at practice Tuesday at the MTS IcePlex.

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