The Minnesota Wild welcomed back a pair of players at today’s practice at Xcel Energy Center. Ryan Carter and Marco Scandella joined the team for the first time since sustaining their respective injuries. Both players will not join the team as it travels to Music City to face Central Division foe, the Nashville Predators, tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Carter and Scandella both were full participants and engaged in the team’s battle drills. If they both react well to the session, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said that when the team gets back from Nashville they should be considered day-to-day. Yeo said they’ve been putting in work to get them ready for a return.
“We’ve put them through some pretty good sessions, as far as being on the ice and getting to a point where we feel they're ready to rejoin us,” Yeo said. “I thought that they both looked good today.
“There was a pretty high battle level and both guys hung in there.”
The bench boss said they’re “right on the verge of being available” and it will be a matter of them feeling comfortable and getting them back into the lineup.
Carter has been sidelined since suffering an upper-body injury on Feb. 9 and has missed 20 games. Getting used to the contact and confident in returning to the ice is the biggest challenge when coming off an injury, according to Carter.
“It’s getting comfortable,” Carter said. “I think it’s easy to have a little bit of doubt in your body and what you can do when you come back from an injury and things like that. So it’s a matter of getting comfortable with it and being confident in when you’re ready to go.”
Scandella has missed seven games with an upper-body injury sustained on Feb. 28. The blueliner was optimist about returning to the ice and excited to be back with teammates, but he’s going to be cautious moving forward.
“I’m not ready to put a percentage on it,” Scandella said. “I don’t want to rush it and get it hurt and set myself back. Today was a big step and we’re going to reevaluate and continue from here.”
He spent his down time away from the rink catching up on the television show, Sons of Anarchy. With the warmer weather in the State of Hockey, he was also able to enjoy the outdoors a little by going on walks. But there is no place he’d rather be than out on the ice.
“I didn’t need it, trust me, I wish I was playing with the guys,” Scandella added. “Without putting a timetable on it, I’d be really excited to play this weekend.”
The Wild continues to be unlucky on the blue line. With Scandella inching towards a return, Nate Prosser will miss extended time with a lower-body injury.
“It’s week-to-week, but knowing Pross, it’s probably going to be a lot shorter than what the original timetable was,” Yeo said. “Something like this could potentially be up to four weeks, but again, knowing him, I think it could be less than that.”
Folin In Against Nashville
With Prosser out for an extended period, Christian Folin will return to the lineup against the Predators. The 24-year-old has been out of the lineup since the Wild acquired Jordan Leopold, but the club was looking for an opportunity for him to get back in.
“He was actually playing a real strong game before that,” Yeo said. “We toyed with the idea of getting him back in in St. Louis, and obviously those guys did a great job, but we’ve got full confidence in him.
“We’ll have to get him up to game speed, but you play a team like Nashville and that won’t take too long.”