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Skinner 'real close' to return from concussion that kept him out for 15 games

RALEIGH, N.C. - Carolina Hurricanes star Jeff Skinner says he's "getting real close" to returning from a concussion that has kept him out for 15 games.

Coach Kirk Muller said after Friday's practice that it's possible the NHL rookie of the year could be in the lineup Saturday night against Boston, but "I'm not going to put him in unless I get that gut feeling and everyone says he's ready to go."

Muller says if that's Saturday, then "great (but) if not, we'll keep him out until we feel it's the right time."

Skinner wore a normal red jersey during practice and took part in post-practice "battle drills" to simulate game situations.

The 19-year-old was hurt Dec. 7 at Edmonton. At the time, he led the team with 12 goals and 24 points.

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