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Goalie Josh Harding takes part in Wild practice

Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 6:30 PM NHL.com

Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding, sidelined since Dec. 31 with complications of multiple sclerosis, practiced with the team Wednesday for the first time since mid-January.

"It was a huge day today. I'm obviously really excited for today," Harding told the Wild website. "I have a lot to go, but it's good getting back out with the boys."

Harding worked in full pads and went through drills with Ilya Bryzgalov and John Curry, who was called up earlier Wednesday from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.

It is unknown when Harding will return to play.

"That's up to the coaches and dealing with how I'm feeling," Harding said. "You’ve got to get some shots. I haven't taken this quality of shots; I've been taking shots from not-as-good-as NHL players. Just some friends in Minnesota. It's definitely a different pace over here."

Harding was 18-7-2 with a 1.65 goals-against average and .933 save percentage before being placed on injured reserve Jan. 2 after feeling ill.

"Obviously a rough patch," Harding said. "It's just one of those things that was out of my control. Right now, just go day to day and have some fun."

Starting goalie Darcy Kuemper, who sustained an upper-body injury during the morning skate Monday in Los Angeles, won't play Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He sat out practice, as did forward Mikael Granlund, who left the Wild's 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings with an upper-body injury.

Kuemper made 16 straight starts before Bryzgalov made his Wild debut March 9. Bryzgalov is 4-0-2 since then; Kuemper is 1-4-2.

"I'm not sure what the plan is going forward. This is the first step," coach Mike Yeo said. "We'll try to figure out some kind of plan for him going forward. ...

"I know [Josh] doesn't want us really talking about it, but the reality is it's always going to be day-to-day. He's obviously feeling really good right now and he's motivated. Considering the amount of time he's been off for, to come out and look the way he did, I thought he looked really good."

Minnesota is in the top Western Conference wild-card spot with 89 points, four ahead of the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes.

"I'm hoping to come back right away," Harding said. "You want to be out there battling with the boys. It was rough watching. The guys have been playing great. As long as we're winning, that's all that matters right now."

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