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Wild's Parise hopes to avoid back surgery

Minnesota forward opting for rest, rehab; says he'll play in World Cup in September

by Dan Myers / NHL.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise said he does not believe he will need surgery for a back injury sustained during the season and expects to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey in September.

Parise did not provide any specifics about his ailment, simply calling it a "back injury." He wanted to try rest and rehabilitation first, an option he said has been working so far.

"Rehab is going really well. I feel good now," Parise said Wednesday. "[I've] got to continue doing the rehab for a little bit and go from there. But it's progressing really well."

The injury, sustained at the end of January, was manageable at first. Parise said he took three cortisone injections and played through the pain until he was hit in the back in a game against the San Jose Sharks on April 5.

"It just didn't recover after that," Parise said.

Parise said doctors told him rehab and surgery eventually would allow him a full recovery, and surgery would not guarantee a more complete recovery; it would have offered pain relief in the short term.

"All the people I've met with and talked to, in the long run, surgery or no surgery, the results have been the same," Parise said. "The surgery, they said, would have relieved a lot of the pain, but you'd end up in the same spot down the road."

Video: Zach Parise Scrum - 4/27/16

Parise, who led the Wild in goals (25) and was second in points (53) during the regular season, said he expects to be 100 percent in time to resume his normal training routine in the summer.

That includes being ready to participate in the World Cup of Hockey, which begins Sept. 17 when the Team USA plays Team Europe at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

"I'll be ready to play for that, for sure," Parise said. "I don't think, or at least I hope, but I just feel like the way it's progressing, that won't be an issue at all. I feel like I'll be able to train normally, like I always do. I don't think it will be a problem."

It was announced on Wednesday that goaltender Devan Dubnyk sustained a broken right index finger in the morning skate prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars.Minnesota lost the series in six games.

Dubnyk had the finger in a splint Wednesday but said he won't need surgery.

"It was hard to hold my stick," he said. "There were better days, and worse days, and probably a few times it got hit pretty good, and can't imagine that it helped things.

"It's just rest now. There's no rush to get back playing. That's a good thing that we don't need to do surgery on it. We did the X-ray yesterday and saw it."

Forward Thomas Vanek said the upper-body injury that made him miss the final three games of the regular season and all six games in the playoffs was a broken and displaced rib sustained against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 29.

"When it first happened, I figured something was wrong, but they just assumed it was a strain or a bruise," Vanek said. "I played, I think a couple days later, and it didn't feel like a bruise or a strain. So I took four or five days off and went on the ice for about two minutes and I said, 'I think something is wrong.' "

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