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Kitchener forward Justin Bailey returns to ice

by Mike G. Morreale

Forward Justin Bailey of the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers has begun skating without contact as he continues to progress via the "Return to Play" protocol.

Bailey has been sidelined with concussion-like symptoms from a hit he sustained in the neutral zone on Sept. 27 against the Windsor Spitfires.

"Justin is quite upbeat and excited to be skating again," Kitchener's head trainer, Dan LeBold, told "He is retaking his post-concussion impact test [Wednesday] and that will determine his next course of action along the RTP protocol."

The Rangers anticipate a full recovery at some point.

In three games this season for Kitchener, while playing a fourth-line role, Bailey has no points and four penalty minutes during his transition to the Canadian Hockey League. He was rated as an A prospect on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list to open the season.

In 2011-12, Bailey helped lead the Long Island Royals to the Under-16 Tier I National championship. That team was coached by Hockey Hall of Famer Pat LaFontaine.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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