Zach Redmond gets all-clear for Winnipeg Jets

Jets defenceman Zach Redmond's cut.

Jets defenceman Zach Redmond's cut.

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:53 PM ET

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Redmond has been cleared for full practice, taking part in an optional skate with teammates today.

"Today was kind of my first official," a smiling Redmond said, Friday. "It was pretty light, but it felt good. No restrictions at all. I'll probably have to go through a week of practice before I'm cleared for game stuff. It's a good first step."

Redmond's clearance to go all-out continues the remarkable progress the 24-year-old has made since his leg was sliced open by a teammate's skate, seven weeks ago.

"It's unbelievable," head coach Claude Noel said. "We had to wait until he got to about 90 per cent (of leg strength). When he got here, he was around 75. In a matter of days he got to around 90 per cent. It's really unbelievable.

"You know what it does, it makes you thankful. It makes you appreciate it. It's really good to see he's back. It's an awesome story."

It could get even more interesting should Redmond get into a game before the curtain falls on the current season.

"I haven't necessarily believed that, but we'll see," Redmond said. "They're in a tight race. They're playing good."

The Jets have won three straight as they begin their longest break of the season, four days without a game.

After playing a league-high 42 games in 83 days, the team has a day away from the rink, Saturday, before returning to practice, Sunday.

Its next game is Tuesday, at home against Tampa Bay.

BATTERED: Centre Bryan Little's timing could have been better.

Little showed up at the rink with a swollen and slightly crooked nose after getting crunched by the shoulder of Florida's Erik Gudbranson in Thursday's 7-2 Jets victory.

And it was team picture day.

Not sure if his nose was broken, Little said hadn't seen a tape of the hit, so didn't have an opinion on it.

As a hit to the head, the play could warrant further action from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

Gudbranson received a match penalty.


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