Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane is refusing to be drawn into yet another public debate about whether he is -- or isn't -- healthy enough to play.
Kane -- who's been recuperating the past couple weeks with what the club will only describe as a "lower body injury" -- skated with his teammates for the first time in almost two weeks Friday morning at MTS Centre.
Asked after practice whether he's healthy enough to play, Kane pointedly refused to answer. "We're not going to go down that road again," said Kane.
Kane got into a very public dispute earlier this season with head coach Claude Noel about whether he was a "healthy scratch" when he didn't play Nov. 6 in Chicago.
With Kane unwilling to "go down that road again," the Jets winger was asked if he "expects" to play Saturday afternoon at home against the Dallas Stars.
"We'll see -- I have to talk to Claude and we'll go from there. "We'll have to make that decision later today," said Kane.
Noel was non-committal about Kane when he met with reporters after practice on Friday. "Today was the first day for him to skate contact-wise and he got through it. I think he's feeling pretty good.
"I'm not sure if he's a player for tomorrow. I will have to check on that. Normally, we like to go a little longer with that. And nothing's changed -- you want to set a player up to succeed. I'm not sure if I feel comfortable with that right now."
Kane has missed five games since he was injured in a game Nov. 29 in Philadelphia.
Friday's Jets practice at MTS Centre was held in front of several thousand young fans who were there as part of a Jets promotion.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd did not practise on Friday. Noel said Ladd was given a "maintenance day."
Kane said he was happy to finally be back with his teammates.
"It was nice to be back skating," said Kane. "I feel a lot better and a lot more able to do things out there."