Muzzin getting closer, but not yet cleared

Jake Muzzin is progressing in his return from an undisclosed injury but hasn’t been cleared to return to game action and won’t play tonight against Winnipeg.

“He’ll be cleared by a doctor, not by a coach or himself,” Darryl Sutter said Sunday morning.

Still, following an on-ice session and another bag skate that has become familiar for the defenseman, Muzzin did express optimism that his return would come sooner rather than later.

“I wouldn’t think too much longer,” he said. “I’ve got to talk to the doctor and see what he says. That’s about it. If he says I’m good to go, then I’m good to go. I feel ready, like I said before, conditioning-wise because I can continue to skate and bag [skate] when I can’t play. If he says ‘yeah it looks ok,’ then OK, we can go.”

His progress is difficult to ascertain.

“It’s a tough injury because it doesn’t hurt right now,” he said. “Maybe it feels fine to me, but it’s [whether] it’s OK to go and take contact. You can push it, but if it gets worse it could be a lot longer. And that’s where we’re at. Take the time now to let it heal properly and then we go. “

Jake Muzzin, on whether he is tired of bag skates:
No, I love them…But you have to do it and I want to do because I don’t want to fall behind. You work all summer to get ready for the year and you push yourself. It would make no sense to not push yourself in a bag skate to fall behind now. Not worth it.

Muzzin, on Brayden McNabb stepping into the top defensive pairing:
It’s not easy. Speaking from my own experience, it took damn near a year for me to learn. Yeah he had some experience at Buffalo, but this is a different team, different system, different personnel. It’s a tough job, but he’s a good player. He’s playing with a good guy. He’s doing a good job.

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