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Maurice updates the status of Bryan Little

Jets forward has been out since November 5 with perforated ear drum

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

WINNIPEG - Three weeks have passed since Bryan Little's unfortunate injury against the New Jersey Devils.

Little took a slap shot off the ear on November 5, suffering a perforated ear drum that hospitalized the Jets forward.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice gave a bit of an update on the 32-year-old after practice on Tuesday.

"He's still in that healing phase. We've talked about the protocol, they need to let his ear drum heal," said Maurice. "Once that happens, they'll assess what the next phase is. He's feeling better. I'll tell you that. The dizziness has come down. He is making progress. It's going to take some time before everything heals inside and then he can decide where he needs to go with it."

Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice

Little was at Bell MTS Place on Monday and has been cleared to do some light bike rides.

Since Little has been out, Blake Wheeler has been playing centre between Nikolaj Ehlers and Jack Roslovic.

Maurice said the team assumes Little will still be out for some length of time - there is no timeline for his return - but the Jets have also considered keeping Wheeler at centre for the long-term.

"The door is still open that Wheeler stays at centre. That's a possibility down the road and you change the pieces around him," said Maurice. "He's a big, strong, physical man. With our defence learning on the go, they're competing real hard. Having a big man in the centre of the ice has been very good for us.

"We can only assume this is long term for Bryan Little - it's more than two or three weeks. Nothing is permanent, I've said it a couple hundred times. We're happy today, but in two weeks, all your great plans get changed."

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