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Daniel Paille feels he’s inching closer to a return

11.15.11 at 1:58 pm ET
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The swelling has gone down, and now Daniel Paille feels he’s closer to returning to game action. Nevermind the fact that he’s just eight days removed from getting hit in the face with a slapshot.

“It’s improving a lot. I’m able to breathe through my nostrils now, so it’s a lot easier to skate,” Paille said after taking part in Tuesday’s morning skate. Tomorrow it should be completely clear and hopefully I get a quick recovery after that.”

Paille said that he could potentially play Thursday against the Blue Jackets.

“I think it’s a possibility,” he said. It also depends on the coaches, too. I know I’m able to play, but not quite 100 percent yet. Hopefully in a couple of days I am.”

The fourth-line winger has been wearing a full cage, something he said last week he would have to wear for a month. He’s taken a page out of Chris Kelly‘s book by wearing a cage that has the inside painted white so it doesn’t obstruct his vision as much.

As for how he feels, Paille, who is still bruised badly bud got the packing out of his nose this week, hasn’t had much difficulty physically.

“I haven’t really been bumped too hard, but I had a couple of bumps in practice the other day, and it felt good. My helmet went back a couple times, and it didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “I feel like it’s a positive thing right now, but we’ll see a little more tomorrow morning after practice when everything’s out.”

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