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Suter has final hurdle to clear before Wild open training camp

Defenseman, coming off ankle surgery, to meet with doctors

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Ryan Suter needs to clear one final hurdle before he can be on the ice for Minnesota Wild training camp.

The 33-year-old defenseman, who is recovering from April 5 surgery on his right ankle, must meet with doctors one more time to receive medical clearance, coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday. Camp starts Sept. 14.

"I think early next week he has another meeting with the doctors," Boudreau said before the start of the Traverse City Prospects Tournament at Centre Ice Arena. "So they will be the ones that indicate whether he can go [in training camp] or not."

Suter said he has been feeling good since resuming skating in early August, and Boudreau said Suter has been a full participant in scrimmages during informal practices. But the Wild are being cautious with their No. 1 defenseman.

Suter initially planned to play in the Stars and Stripes Showdown on Aug. 26 in Plymouth, Michigan, to honor late USA Hockey executive Jim Johannson, but Wild general manager Paul Fenton asked him to sit out as a precaution.

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"He's the boss," Suter said. "I've got to do what he says."

Suter fractured his fibula near the ankle when he crashed into the boards against the Dallas Stars on March 31, ending his season. He had equaled his NHL career high with 51 points (six goals, 45 assists) in 78 games before he was injured. He also had 51 points in 2015-16.

Suter said at the Stars and Stripes Showdown that a CT scan taken in mid-June showed the fracture was healing well, and he's had no setbacks since he returned to the ice. Though Suter has joked about potentially skipping the conditioning skating test on the first day of training camp, Boudreau doesn't expect there to be any limitations.

"We'll probably be a little more cautious with him in preseason games," Boudreau said. "He's not the type of guy who needs three preseason games to get ready. But we'll just play it day by day with that."

The Wild play seven preseason games, beginning at the Winnipeg Jets on Sept. 17. They open the regular season at the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 4.

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