There’s a reason the Winnipeg Jets are being cautious with Nikolaj Ehlers’ eye injury and, as good as he feels, the dashing Dane is in agreement.

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This article was published 19/3/2016 (2258 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

There’s a reason the Winnipeg Jets are being cautious with Nikolaj Ehlers’ eye injury and, as good as he feels, the dashing Dane is in agreement.

The rookie has been sidelined since March 3.

He was struck by the puck in overtime of the game against the New York Islanders. The impact broke his visor, which cut him near the left eye.

"It was more precaution than anything else," Ehlers said Saturday after a second practice with his teammates this week. "Because if it would have burst and started bleeding again, it could get worse.

"It’s just that I want this to heal up perfectly so it doesn’t happen again. It is my eye. It’s not my leg or my wrist or something like that. It’s pretty important to be cautious and take it easy."

The Jets have taken no chances with their flashy rookie. He got another good report from the team’s specialist last Thursday and if there is more good news later this coming week, the 20-year-old, first-round pick in 2014 could soon be back in action.

Ehlers, Mark Stuart (hand) and Joel Armia (lower body) appeared in practice Friday wearing orange jerseys, signifying they were no-contact participants.

Ehlers said the only change he’ll make is the kind of visor on his helmet but doesn’t believe the three-week-plus injury absence will scuttle the momentum he was gaining in his game.

He had points in four of the six games before he was hurt.

"I honestly don’t even think it’ll be a setback," said Ehlers, who has 13 goals and 18 assists in 63 games. "I did have some confidence going and it was going really well for me before the injury.

"But I’ve been trying to get back even better and I feel in the last two days out there with the boys it’s probably the best I’ve felt this year," he said.

"I feel good. I feel comfortable and confident right now, so I’m excited to go back out there."

Prior to his injury, Ehlers was backchecking Islanders winger Kyle Okposo.

As Okposo and Ehlers stopped up near the net, New York’s Frans Nielsen pulled up and took a shot that deflected off the stick of Winnipeg defenceman Jacob Trouba. The puck flew up into Ehlers’ face, then dropped right onto Okposo’s stick and he ended the game with a shot into the net.

"I was backchecking in overtime and I got to him and he turned around so I turned around, too," Ehlers said. "And as I turned around, I got the puck on my visor.

"At first, I didn’t really see what happened exactly with my helmet and I got up and I just noticed I was bleeding but it wasn’t anything big," he said.

"Everything seemed fine in the beginning but then it started getting foggy in front of my left eye. And when you get to that point, it’s pretty scary.

"Like I said, it’s not my wrist, it’s my eye so I was panicking a little bit. We went to the doctor right away."

The damage didn’t turn out to be critical — Ehlers didn’t even have a visible mark beside his eye Saturday — and it didn’t take him too long to start pondering his return to action.

"Two days after, I was all good again, it looked pretty much perfect again," he said Saturday. "The day after the injury I was saying I could go back out there because everything felt fine.

"If it were up to me, I’d have played sooner but then again, it is my eye and I know that if something happens again, a hit or whatever and it were to get worse, that wouldn’t be great," he said.

"I’m OK with the three weeks. With these injuries it does take a little longer. I told the doctor I feel great and I can’t see anything (wrong). I have been going more than 50 per cent in these practices and I haven’t seen any signs it could happen again."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca