Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise is happy with the way his rehab from a back injury is progressing and hopes to be ready to play for Team USA in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in September, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Parise, who sustained the back injury at the end of January, opted for rest and rehab instead of surgery at the conclusion of Minnesota's season. The Wild lost to the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference First Round in six games.
"I'm happy [with] the way it's going because I'm able to do what I normally would do had nothing happened," Parise said. "That's why I'm really optimistic and feeling really good about it."
Parise, who said he is already skating and working out, was one of the first 16 players named to Team USA's roster in March.
Parise was speaking at a charity event in Edina, Minn., on Thursday to raise money for the victims of the Fort McMurray fires in Alberta. The fund-raiser was organized by Wild teammate Jared Spurgeon and his wife, Danielle, whose parents lost their home in the fires.
Parise missed the regular-season finale against the Calgary Flames on April 9 and did not play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had a team-leading 25 goals and was second on the Wild with 53 points during the regular season.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be played Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. All games will be televised by ESPN in the United States and by Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.