Mikko Koivu would love to be in the lineup when the Wild resumes its post-Olympics schedule next week in Edmonton, and the feeling is mutual from Mike Yeo. But the Wild captain and Wild coach stopped short of declaring next Thursday as the targeted return for Koivu. “It’s the worst feeling watching the games and not being part of the team,” said Koivu, who participated in the Wild’s first practice Wednesday since the Olympic break started Feb. 7. “As soon as I can, I will play. But I thought I would be ready right now in the Olympics [for Finland], so I don’t really want to put a timetable on when I’m going to play. “As long as it’s getting better each and every day, I’m happy.” Koivu broke his right ankle Jan. 4. He underwent surgery two days later and was forced to bow out of captaining his native Finland in the Olympics. He looked well-rested during Wednesday’s practice, a peculiar one because the Wild was short six bodies. Mikael Granlund, playing for Finland, and Team USA standouts Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are still in Russia. Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter was on his way back, while defenseman Marco Scandella and winger Jason Zucker are injured. “The guys looked good considering the time we had off,” Yeo said. “They started to fade a little bit toward the end, but they pushed through it.” Koivu says he has a “ways to go” and must get his ankle stronger so it gets “easier and easier” to navigate the ice.
Koivu practices, but not yet ready for game action
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 20