UPDATE: Thursday, Feb. 28, 4:06 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky
Teammates Tim Brent, Tim Gleason and Jamie McBain will also return.
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UPDATE: Thursday, Feb. 28, 10:44 a.m. ET by Donald Wood
Carolina Hurricanes fans can rejoice, as star left winger Jeff Skinner returned to practice Thursday after missing the past five games recovering from a concussion, according to Dave Molinari of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Carolina LW Jeff Skinner, who missed the past 5 games because of concussion, is back skating on a line with Jordan Staal at game-day skate.— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) February 28, 2013
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The 20-year-old sustained the concussion after crashing into the boards helmet-first in Thursday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The third-year forward also suffered a concussion last season.
Skinner has posted seven goals and seven assists in 13 games this season. He's the team's second-leading scorer, as the Hurricanes have gotten off to an 8-5-1 start. As the the No. 7 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he's going to be missed out on the ice.
What makes the loss of Skinner particularly tough for Carolina is the fact that 29 of its 38 goals scored this season have come from its top two forward lines.
Drayson Bowman could be an option. He scored 14 goals in 37 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL during the lockout. He has only one assist in 14 games for the Hurricanes, though. He'll have to pick it up.
According to the Charlotte Observer report, Chad LaRose was on the second line with Jordan Staal and Patrick Dwyer during Wednesday's practice. Jussi Jokinen, who took Skinner's spot in Monday's game against the Montreal Canadiens, was back on the third line.
The Hurricanes were rolling along before Skinner's injury. On the other hand, they lost 3-0 against the Canadiens on Monday in Skinner's absence.
That will have to change as the team tries to find itself again with its young forward out indefinitely.