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Patrik Laine close to return for Jets

Winnipeg rookie forward practices without non-contact jersey, may play Tuesday @NHLdotcom

Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Patrik Laine skated at practice Sunday without wearing a non-contact jersey for the first time since sustaining a concussion Jan. 7.

"Always when I tried to get my heart rate up, it hurt my head," Laine told the Jets website. "So the past few days I felt like I could be back soon… I have to work hard so I can get skating back and keep up the pace on the ice. Then I'll think about when I'm going to be back."

Laine, 18, has missed the past seven games after being injured in a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Coach Paul Maurice said Laine will not play Monday against the Anaheim Ducks at MTS Centre (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, KCOP-13, NHL.TV).

"We talked this morning that he wasn't going tomorrow," Maurice said. "Even a guy that had no injury, I wouldn't have him do today's practice and go in to back-to-back."

However, Maurice said Laine may return when the Jets end a four-game homestand Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

"As you know with this, we're waiting for the next day to make sure," Maurice said. "If he feels like he comes into the rink tomorrow and feels real strong, then we'll start thinking about the next night."

Laine is second among rookies in goals (21) behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews. He is tied for second in points with Toronto's Mitchell Marner with 37, one behind Matthews.

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