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Wisniewski practices for first time since injury

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

James Wisniewski sat in his locker stall this afternoon and candidly admitted that he doesn't remember much about that violent collision into the boards last weekend.

In the days since, his teammates have told him about the deafening silence that took over within Nationwide Arena, how "you could hear a pin drop" while he lay in severe pain on the ice and how Blue Jackets and Red Wings players nervously looked on before he got to his feet and left with assistance.

It was a scary moment for Wisniewski the hockey player, but equally (if not more so) scary for Wisniewski the soon-to-be father, whose wife Nicole is expecting to deliver the couple's first child any day now.

When he watched the accident on replay, he said he thought about how lucky he was to not sustain any long-term or serious injuries but was startled by how fast everything happened. It was a top-speed sequence of events and Wisniewski said he was in the "dangerous area," with about four feet separating his body and the boards when he lost his footing.

The general body soreness he experienced in the days after the injury has started to subside, and Wisniewski said he will undergo further testing tomorrow to hopefully inch closer to getting the "green light."

Wisniewski said he hopes to return Sunday vs. the Edmonton Oilers.

In taking the ice today for an optional skate with 10 of his teammates at the OhioHealth Ice Haus, Wisniewski felt a bit of relief but mostly encouragement that he's on track to getting back to full health in short order. He said his goal is to return to the Blue Jackets' lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Edmonton Oilers, but nothing has been decided yet.

Wisniewski wore a red "no contact" jersey today as the players went through an energetic skate that lasted for about an hour. Both goaltenders -- Steve Mason and Sergei Bobrovsky -- were on the ice but Bobrovsky spent most of the session working hard with goaltending coach Ian Clark.

Here's the full list of players who skated today: Mason, Bobrovsky, Wisniewski, Colton Gillies, Mark Letestu, Tim Erixon, Nick Holden, Jared Boll, David Savard, Cody Goloubef, Matt Calvert.

The Blue Jackets have a full team practice scheduled for tomorrow morning (also at the Ice Haus while Rascal Flatts is in town), and between now and then, Wisniewski said they'll decide if it's time to shed the no-contact sweater and get back on the ice for the real deal.

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