Jets' Kane day-to-day after evaluation reveals concussion

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TSN.ca Staff
1/21/2012 4:53:16 PM
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In the midst of his finest season as a pro, Jets forward Evander Kane is the latest player to go down with a concussion.

The team announced Kane's condition Saturday, but head coach Claude Noel couldn't go into much detail about the injury because it's unknown when or how Kane suffered the concussion.

"(He) came to us yesterday with a headache," Noel said on Saturday. "We weren't sure what it was because we've had the flu come through and (affect) a couple of guys. We sent him home but we wanted to make sure we got an evaluation on him, and when we got him evaluated, it looks like he has a concussion.

"I have no idea which game, I have no idea when all this took place. I'm not so sure he completely knows, I'm not so sure when he was feeling those effects."

Kane, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NHL draft, has 18 goals and 31 points in 46 games to lead the team in scoring, and, in its inaugural season back in Winnipeg, he's helped keep the Jets in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.

It's because of his level play, Noel said, that has teams focusing on trying to slow him down.

"When you're a player like him that's having success, you're going to get more physical play (directed) your way," he said. "Sometimes this is going to be the result. I don't think people target the head, specifically, but it's just part of what takes place when you're a player that draws attention."

There is no timetable for his return. Noel said the team will treat it as a day-to-day injury for now.

"He's feeling better today, when I spoke with him," he said. "It's a fairly grey area, and you don't know what you're dealing with, that's the problem.

"Is it going to be a few days? It is going to be a few weeks? You don't know."

Byfuglien Making Progress

All-Star defenceman Dustin Byfuglien was on the ice for the first time with the Jets since before Christmas, but it appears that a return to the lineup is still some time away, which will probably force him to sit out the upcoming All-Star game in Ottawa.

"It was nice to see him out there today, although he was in bright orange," said Noel of Byfuglien in the non-contact jersey. "It was nice to see him, he looked pretty good, actually. We're just kind of checking out to see how he's doing, so it's hard to say."

Byfuglien last played a game Dec. 23, before suffering a knee injury. He's been forced to wear a brace for the first time in his career.

"This is the first time I've ever had to (wear a brace). It's a little different," Byfuglien said. "I'm not good yet, but we'll see what happens."

Noel said that for Byfuglien to play in Ottawa, he would have to make his way back to the lineup for games with the Jets, a scenario that Noel thinks is a stretch.

"He's been off for a month. I wouldn't say yes or no, but I want to take it day-by-day, just be conservative," he said. "It's the first day he's skated with us so, leave it at that."

Byfuglien said his goal is to be back healthy and in the Jets lineup.

"I'm more worried about our team right now than worried about the All-Star game. The All-Star game is something to be fun to be a part of, but, right now I'm more worried about getting a Jet jersey on," he said.

Evander Kane (Photo: Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
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