Little suffered a perforated ear drum after taking a puck to the head against the New Jersey Devils in November. While he has made progress, there’s a procedure Little needs on his eardrum that requires three months to recover.
“The hope is this thing is going to heal at a certain rate and that’s going to allow you to come back and play. That’s the player’s hope,” head coach Paul Maurice said on Saturday. “Because of the injury we’re not putting this player at any risk, we’re not going to wait until the very end and say ‘yeah you’re close.’ It’s also in part to the procedure that he does have to have.”
The 32-year-old was cleared to participate in practice last month, but there was no timeline on his return to the lineup.
“The smart thing for Bryan the person, Bryan the hockey player, and the Winnipeg Jets is not to have him play this year,” Maurice said.
Little posted two goals and five points in seven games this season before his injury.