The Minnesota Wild have been through their share of injuries through the first quarter of the season, but it seems as though they’re close to being at full strength again. Wednesday morning, both defenseman Jonas Brodin and forward Matt Cooke took to the ice again.
Brodin, who has missed six games with the mumps (or the euphemistic “mumps-like symptoms”), is close to a return. Coach Mike Yeo told KFAN Wednesday that there’s “a chance” that Brodin could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday, when the Wild take on the Stars in Dallas (or the euphemistic “Big D”).
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) November 26, 2014
Yeo elaborated on that to the Star Tribune’s Rachel Blount noting that the main obstacle to Brodin’s return is conditioning, meaning that the illness appears to have passed.
The return of Brodin would be great news for the Wild. They’ve been looking better in recent games, but getting their top four defenseman back in the lineup — both Marco Scandella and Jared Spurgeon have missed time this season — would offer some stability to the lineup and clear up plans for rookie defenseman Mathew Dumba.
Dumba once looked like he was certainly headed to Iowa, but injuries gave him a second shot after the team sent fellow rookie Christian Folin to Iowa. Dumba has improved since that time and may have earned the right to stay.
Matt Cooke has missed the last 12 games with a hip flexor injury that has been slow to heal. But Cooke was back on the ice Wednesday, according to Blount. That is a big step forward, however he was skating without pads and doesn’t appear to be close to a return.
Skating without pads means there’s been progress, but concerns remain about the injury. Once he’s back to full health, he’ll still need to get his conditioning back before he’s ready for game action.
The team certainly hopes that they’re through the mumps and/or “mumps-like symptoms” that have gone through four defensemen on the team. (Scandella, Keith Ballard, and Christian Folin all missed time with “mumps-like symptoms.”) The same problem has plagued the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, though reports of symptoms have been less frequent over the last week. That’s excepting former Wild d-man Clayton Stoner, who the Ducks sat on Sunday after he began to exhibit some “mumps-like symptoms.” So, it’s not completely eradicated from NHL locker rooms yet.