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Hurricanes' Skinner hoping for Thursday return @NHLdotcom

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner skated in a regular jersey Wednesday and hopes to return to the lineup Thursday against the New York Rangers.

Skinner shed the no-contact jersey he had been wearing since he returned to the ice following a concussion he sustained during a preseason game Oct. 5. Skinner has missed the Hurricanes' first three games.

Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Skinner will travel to New York and a determination on his availability for Thursday would be determined after the morning skate.

"I think he's real close," Peters said according to the Hurricanes website. "He'll skate with us again [Thursday] and then we can make a decision."

Skinner said he will speak to doctors later Wednesday but said he's hoping for the best when it comes to returning to the lineup.

"I always want to play, but it's up to the doctor and what's best for the team and for me," Skinner said according to the Hurricanes website.

Having Skinner, who had a career-best 33 goals last season, would be a big bonus for the Hurricanes. Center Jordan Staal is out for at least three more months after sustaining a broken leg during the preseason and top-line center Eric Staal is day-to-day with an upper-body injury that kept him out of the Hurricanes' game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

RT @MSmithCanes: Jeff Skinner out of his no-contact jersey at #Canes practice today.

Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 15, 2014

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