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Fiddler Practices with Teammates on Friday

Friday, 02.04.2011 / 4:03 PM / Features
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE – Coyotes center Vernon Fiddler, who hasn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury during a fight with Anaheim’s Matt Beleskey on Jan. 15, skated with teammates for the first time since the injury at Friday’s practice inside Jobing.com Arena.
Fiddler

Fiddler wore a non-contact jersey, but he participated in the entire hour-long workout, and even practiced some faceoffs at the end with Kyle Turris. Fiddler had been skating on his own since Monday.

After practice, Head Coach Dave Tippett said Fiddler is nearing day-to-day status/a return to the lineup.

The Coyotes have posted a 2-6-0 record in the eight games they’ve played without Fiddler, a key penalty killer and faceoff taker who chipped in five goals and eight assists in the 45 games he played before the injury.

Photo by Associated Press.
“It was good,” Fiddler said after Friday’s practice. “It was nice to skate with some other guys and it’s always nice to get back with the team… My strength’s all back. It’s just a matter of the doctor clearing me to play.”

Fiddler said it’s been frustrating watching the past eight games, especially the last two in which the Coyotes have been outscored 11-3 by San Jose and Vancouver.

“I’ve been in dressing rooms when that’s been going on and you don’t want to be sitting in the stands, you want to be playing with the guys and fighting through it with them,” Fiddler said. “You feel useless up in the press box. I definitely want to get back in here and contribute, and I think when I’m healthy I can do that. It’s just a couple of minor things that we’re doing (wrong). We’ve gone through it before, even last year we did it a bit, but it’s only going to make us stronger in the long run.”

Meanwhile, defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who missed Wednesday's game because of an upper-body injury, also practiced on Friday. He is day-to-day.

 
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