Josh Harding's return to the Minnesota Wild is still uncertain, but he returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since going on injured reserve Jan. 6 because of an illness. Harding, who leads the NHL with a 1.65 goals-against average and is second with a .933 save percentage, has been working out on his own and skating while the team was on the road. He was placed on injured reserve in December as he adjusted to a change in medication for multiple sclerosis. He returned and played two games, but has missed the past six games with an illness. "Wasn't feeling good," Harding said after practicing Tuesday. "Obviously if I felt even a little bit like I could play, I would have. But there's some things that are out of my control and I thought that we did everything in our control to get back to where we are right now." Asked if his illness was related to his multiple sclerosis, Harding chose not to get into specifics. We're not going to get too much into that," Harding said. "Like I said, it was out of my control." He started to feel better and had been working with the team's strength and conditioning coach, Kirk Olson. Harding wasn't sure how long it would take him to return to game action and joked that he needs to work hard to "not be the weak link" when he returns. The Wild have won five of their past six games. Young goaltender Darcy Kuemper has won his past two starts, allowing only one goal in the process. Coach Mike Yeo said he would start Tuesday night at home against Ottawa after earning his first NHL shutout on Sunday at Nashville. Niklas Backstrom has won three of his past four starts, allowing eight goals over the span.
Harding returns to Wild practice, says illness was out of his control
Fox Sports | Jan 14