Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Kane recovery stalls, return to lineup uncertain

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WINNIPEG Jets forward Evander Kane is coming along more slowly than expected in his recuperation from a lower-body injury.

It will be at least a few more games before he's able to return to the lineup, head coach Claude Noel said Wednesday.

"He's more than day-to-day because he hasn't skated with us for awhile," said Noel. "We're trying to resolve the situation so we can get him going a little more so he's working out and slowly doing some things.

"He has a lower-body ailment...and we were hoping at this point that it would be moving along. We're just doing our due diligence and research and it's coming along slower than we anticipated.

"So he's not a player in the next few games, I don't anticipate -- not until he comes back and skates with us."

Kane was hurt in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 29 and has not played since, missing four games and counting.

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Noel also provided some other injury updates following his team's practice Wednesday morning:

-- Blue-liner Zach Bogosian (groin) hasn't skated in a week and has battled the flu recently. Noel said Bogosian is "a couple weeks away."

-- Defenceman Paul Postma (blood clot)has been skating but is not yet ready for contact. He will be reassessed in mid-January.

-- Forward Jim Slater (hernia, surgery) is further away than Postma.

-- Right-winger Devin Setoguchi did not practise Wednesday after he sustained an unspecified "tweak" in a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues at the MTS Centre Tuesday night. Noel said Setoguchi was given a "maintenance day" but is expected back in the Jets lineup tonight against the Colorado Avalance.

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Bryan Little's third-period goal for the Jets against St. Louis was the first in eight games for thet Jets' top-line centre.

Despite the drought, Little continues to lead the Jets this season in goals (13) and points (28) and he attributed his dry spell to little more than the vagaries of hockey. "It's part of hockey. The first half of the season, I was on a really good pace," said Little. "It seemed like a lot of things were going in for me. I had that confidence.

"But that can change really fast. It's a long season.

"And when things start not going in -- when they start missing for you and you're not getting the goals -- that's when you start over-thinking. The biggest thing is confidence. When you have confidence, you know what to do when you're handling the puck...

"When you start to fight it, that's when it really starts to work against you. I knew I was not going to be able to keep up that pace, that it was going to eventually come to an end. But to me, the biggest thing when you get into a funk like that is to get out of it as quick as you can."

 

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 12, 2013 D2

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