There finally appears to be some positive news on the injury front for Winnipeg.
Mark Stuart and Tobias Enstrom could be back in the lineup on Saturday when the Jets visit the L.A. Kings.
Both defensemen practiced without non-contact jerseys on Friday.
“They’re getting stronger every day,” said Jets’ coach Paul Maurice. “I’m comfortable from a fitness point of view, but we’ll talk more with the trainers. Again, they’re still at that stage where they have to come back the next day and feel as good or stronger than they did the day before.”
Stuart, who has been out of the lineup since mid-December with a lower body injury, has nine points and a plus-6 rating while averaging 19:54 in ice time in 32 games this season.
“I felt good,” Stuart said after Friday’s practice. “I’ve got to prove to [the coaching staff] that I’m ready and we’ll go from there. It’s not about how long you go – it’s about how hard you’re going and how focused you are during practice. We put together a pretty good skate out there today.”
Enstrom, who has been out of the Jets’ lineup since Nov. 23, has nine points and a minus-1 rating in 22 games this season.
There could be good news up front for the Jets as well.
Evander Kane also practiced without a non-contact jersey on Friday. The 23-year-old has been out of the lineup since late December with a foot injury.
“He’s full contact. Once a guy gets to full contact, you’re saying he’s had enough healing that you can have at him,” Maurice said. “At the same time, he’s fresh off that injury. The doctors will have to tell us he’s had enough healing and that any residual pain, he can deal with – and then we have to feel that he’s had enough practice time to be an effective player.”
Kane has six goals and 15 points in 26 games this season.