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This time Evander Kane won’t guess when Noel will say he’s ready

Winnipeg Jets v New Jersey Devils

skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on November 25, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Devils 3-1.

Bruce Bennett

Evander Kane (lower body) has been cleared for contact and was healthy enough to join the Winnipeg Jets for Friday’s practice. If you want to know when he might be back though, don’t ask him.

“We’re not going to go down that road again,” Kane told the Winnipeg Sun.

The 22-year-old forward attempted to guess his return date from a lower-body injury in November, and when he Jets coach Claude Noel kept him out of the lineup longer than predicted, Kane argued that he was actually a healthy scratch. That might have contributed to later reports of tension between Kane and the club.

As far as Saturday’s game goes, Noel isn’t prepared to declare him ready to return after participating in just one practice.

“Normally we go a little longer for that,” Noel said. “Nothing’s changed. You want to try set a player up to succeed. And I’m not sure I feel comfortable with that right now.”

Kane has missed five straight games. Even when he’s been healthy, he hasn’t lived up to expectations with just 14 points in 26 contests.

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