Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Clague Closing in on Return

Kale Clague practiced without
restrictions on Monday
  Kale Clague could be pulling on a Wheat Kings' uniform for the first time since October later this week.

  The rookie defenceman practiced without restrictions on Monday, and his return from a wrist injury that's sidelined him for the past 13 weeks appears to be imminent.

  "It's been a long time coming, 13 weeks this week.  I'm practicing with the team now and really looking forward to getting back," said Clague after Monday's practice, "It was a good first practice back and, hopefully, I can keep it going further on this week and into Friday."

  The sixth overall pick in the 2013 Bantam Draft hasn't pulled on a Wheat Kings' jersey since being injured at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in early November.

  "Obviously, not an ideal 16-year old season," added Clague, who had two goals and eight points in 15 games with Brandon prior to the injury, "I have big goals for myself the next 20 games and leading into playoffs."

  Being out of the lineup and off the ice for such a lengthy period of time has certainly been a challenge for Clague, both in keeping his conditioning where it needs to be and with getting his feel for handling the puck back.

  "Being that it was my wrist, I could still ride the bike and do leg workouts and what-not so that helped a lot," said Clague, "Any hockey player would know that if you're off this long, off the ice, off stouching a stick that you're going to be a little rusty but the last couple of weeks I've starting to get my legs under me and starting to get really excited."

  Brandon opens a four-game road trip Wednesday in Medicine Hat (7:30 p.m., 880 CKLQ), an important game considering the Tigers are six points behind the first-place Wheat Kings in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.

  Brandon will be without centre John Quenneville and goaltender Alex Moodie to, at least, start the road trip.

  Both suffered suspected concussions in games against the Moose Jaw Warriors this past weekend.

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