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Patrik Laine skates for first time since concussion

Jets forward, second in NHL rookie scoring, has missed five games with injury

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine skated Wednesday for the first time since sustaining a concussion Jan. 7.

Laine skated with Jets director of fitness Dr. Craig Slaunwhite prior to the morning skate Wednesday. The Jets play the Arizona Coyotes at MTS Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-A, NHL.TV).

Laine has missed five games after being injured 5:51 into the third period of a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on a hit from defenseman Jake McCabe.

"[Laine] gets through to the point we're comfortable, gets back on the ice," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "So all the things that have gone on, light bike rides he got through, and was fine. So this is the next phase. It's back on the ice and we'll see how he feels [Thursday] to decide whether he's going on or not. We'll just be augmenting it a little bit every day."

Video: WPG@FLA: Laine snipes goal after steal by Little

Maurice said there is no timetable for Laine's return to the lineup.

"Not even right until the very end," Maurice said. "Because the last thing will be full-contact practice and … we've had players in the past just blow through the first part and get to that and hold there for a long time. Or if you present any symptoms, you're back to square one."

The No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Laine, 18, is second among NHL rookies with 21 goals and 37 points, one behind the 22 goals and 38 points of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews. Laine's 21 goals lead the Jets, one more than forward Mark Scheifele.

Laine was named last week to the Central Division team for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Jan. 29.

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