Minnesota Wild coach Todd Richards has picked Jose Theodore as his starting goaltender for Thursday night's game against the Avalanche at Colorado's Pepsi Center.

It will be Theodore's first start since Jan. 11, after which he missed four games with a hip injury and three more as the backup to starter Niklas Backstrom.

Even though Backstrom posted his second shutout in his past four starts in a 1-0 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night, Richards says he wants to get Theodore back in action.

"He's had a lot of time off," Richards said. "When he was playing, he played really well for us. Going down the stretch, we're going to need two goalies."

Richards said coaches made the decision before the six-day break for the NHL All-Star Game to get Theodore back in goal soon after the break.

Theodore can't wait.

"When you come back from an injury, you want to get back in as quick as possible," he said, noting that the all-star break stymied those hopes. "Now it's good to be back and helping the team."