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Ducks' Hiller feeling better, but no return date set

by Adam Kimelman
Anaheim Ducks All-Star goaltender Jonas Hiller isn't ready to return just yet, but he feels he's getting closer by the day.

Hiller worked out on the ice Wednesday, taking shots from assistant coach Mike Foligno. He said he's no longer feeling the dizziness that doctors believe is a case of vertigo that has sidelined him since Feb. 13.

"I definitely felt better on the ice," Hiller told reporters following the workout. "I'm able to see the puck better. Still not the way I want to, but I can definitely see an improvement. I kind of want to push, but I have to pace myself also a little bit not to overdo it. It's tough to pace myself when I feel better, but mentally, knowing that it's going the right direction is definitely a huge relief."

Hiller said his biggest issues now are being able to track the puck and increase his endurance.

"Lately hasn't been the dizzy feeling," he said. "It's not being able to keep up with the puck. The problem is I'm like running behind, I'm always trying to catch up, which makes me more tired. That's the endurance part. That's still the part that has to improve right now. We're working on that, doing exercises every day."

While he's feeling better, Hiller said he's not going to put a timetable on when he might return for the Ducks. Anaheim is 5-6-1 since he left the lineup heading into Wednesday's game against the St. Louis Blues. They're 10th in the Western Conference with 13 games remaining, but could jump into eighth with a win.

"I know it's not going to come from today to tomorrow," he said of his recovery. "It will take another couple days, or weeks, I don't know. I stopped putting pressure on myself. I just want to go my way and see how it goes day by day."

Hiller is 26-16-3 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .925 save percentage that still ranks third in the League. He played in his first All-Star Game in January, but he hasn't played much since then.

In Hiller's absence, the Ducks have used the since-traded Curtis McElhinney, Dan Ellis and Ray Emery. Ellis has earned the majority of the action since he was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning for McElhinney on Feb. 24. In eight games, he's 5-2-1 with a 2.54 GAA and .902 save percentage.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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