| Assuming he can keep progressing in practice, Gaborik’s return to the ice may be near. |
Marian Gaborik’s first practice with the Wild since injuring his groin was very brief, but also very encouraging. On Monday, Gaborik ran through some basic non-contact drills for the first 20 minutes of the team’s practice, which stretched to just over an hour. To Head Coach Jacques Lemaire, Gaborik looked very good as he showed his speed and his stop/start abilities.
Gaborik also said he felt good, and his excitement following a post-practice workout was obvious.
"I was very excited to jump out with the guys, even for 20 minutes," he said. "It felt good. Tomorrow’s going to be more and more, and each day until I can do a full practice."
Gaborik’s return to the rink is on the horizon, but don’t expect to see him suiting up against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. In addition to the star right winger giving his own seal of approval, he will also be at the mercy of agreements between Doug Risebrough, the Wild training staff, and Rick Celebrini, the physiotherapist that Gaborik has been working with in Vancouver.
Lemaire admits that when he gets to pencil Gaborik into the lineup is not up to him. But if Monday is any indication to him, his best player isn’t far away.
"He looks good to me," said Lemaire. "He skated well. His speed was normal, like he normally skates."
"It’ll be a day by day thing depending on how I feel...but I’m excited to jump out there guys. I’m looking forward to getting back on and helping out this season. You know, for myself, he looked like he was ready to play, but it’s out of my reach."