Laine could play this week

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Patrik Laine's health has improved enough to suggest the 18-year-old Finn will be returning to active duty this week.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 22/01/2017 (2138 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Patrik Laine’s health has improved enough to suggest the 18-year-old Finn will be returning to active duty this week.

The rookie Jets right-winger, who remains tied with centre Mark Scheifele for the club’s goal-scoring lead despite missing seven games with a concussion, moved closer to returning to the Winnipeg lineup by being a full participant in Sunday’s practice at the MTS Centre.

“We got a good workout on the ice,” said Laine, who was injured in a heavy collision with Buffalo Sabres defenceman Jake McCabe on Jan. 7. “It was nice to get that yellow (non-contact) jersey off and be ready to play.”

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg Jets #29 Patrik Laine during practice at MTS Centre Sunday January 22, 2017.

Laine did not take a regular rotation with linemates Scheifele and left-winger Nikolaj Ehlers, but said he experienced no discomfort during the workout, staying on the ice for an additional 20 minutes for some extra skating.

Laine, 18, was asked if he expected to get medical clearance to play Monday when the Jets host the Anaheim Ducks.

“I don’t think so, maybe a couple more practices with the team and then (be) ready to play,” said Laine, adding the concussion is his first. “(I feel) OK. A little bit tired. My head feels OK and every thing else is in order.”

The Jets host the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night and head out on the road for a Thursday date with the Blackhawks in Chicago prior to the NHL’s all-star break. Laine is Winnipeg’s lone representative at the all-star game.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice didn’t rule out a return for Laine against the Sharks.

“Even a guy that had no injury, I wouldn’t have had him do today’s practice and go into a back to back,” said Maurice. “I guess that’s a possibility, but as you know, we’re waiting for the next day to make sure he comes to the rink tomorrow and feels real strong.”

In other injury news, right-winger Drew Stafford, who left Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury, won’t play tonight but his condition may not be a serious as originally feared. He is considered day-to-day.

Defenceman Tyler Myers, out since Nov. 13 with a lower-body injury, is “status quo” with his rehab and also attending to a personal family matter, said Maurice. Myers has missed 33 games with his most recent ailment.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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Updated on Sunday, January 22, 2017 5:58 PM CST: full write-thru, new headline

Updated on Sunday, January 22, 2017 9:23 PM CST: fixes typo

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