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Scandella Ready to Return to Lineup

Defenseman has missed nearly a month with a high ankle sprain

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Possible Return for Scandella

Possible Return for Scandella

Marco Scandella is nearing a return to the lineup after a practice day with the team at Xcel Energy Center

  • 01:19 •

ST. PAUL -- Defenseman Marco Scandella could return to the lineup on Wednesday when the Minnesota Wild hosts the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center.

Scandella has missed nearly a month with a high ankle sprain sustained against the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 27. 

"It's never fun getting hurt and I knew it wasn't going to be a two-day injury," Scandella said. "It's hard to watch games. You just want to be a part of it when you're part of a team, you see your guys battling and you're not a part of it. It's frustrating at times, but I'm real excited to get back."

Scandella said he's been working on the ice for the past 10 days trying to get his ankle back in shape. He has ramped up, from skating on his own early last week to practicing with his teammates like he has the past several days.

On Tuesday, he skated with Matt Dumba in practice, a sign that he could be in the lineup. Scandella said if it's up to him, he will be in.

"I feel really good. I'm expecting to play," Scandella said. 

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't commit to having Scandella in the lineup, saying he was simply a game-time decision. If he does play, Scandella is not expected to play any power-play minutes as the Wild eases him back into group.

"He's looking fine, just gotta make sure his conditioning is where we want it," Boudreau said. "He's not going to play any power play, but he will play as many minutes as he warrants."

If Scandella is in, it would re-unite a defensive pairing that has proven effective in the past. It would also provide Boudreau perhaps his most stable lineup since the middle of last month. 

"It will be awesome to have [Scandella] back. A huge addition to our team and our D-core," Dumba said. "We're both pretty versatile guys. Scandella being a bigger guy, he can still skate with the best of them. He's got that long reach and can really play a good shut-down defensive game. I think we pair nice in that sense."

If Scandella plays on Wednesday, the Wild would first need to activate him from long-term injured reserve. Should he be activated, it's likely the Wild would make an additional roster move.

Bertschy back to Iowa

The Wild assigned forward Christoph Bertschy back to Iowa of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. 

He was recalled from Iowa on Sunday as insurance in case a forward was too ill to play Monday in Dallas. Zach Parise returned to the lineup on Monday after missing one game because of strep throat. 

Nate Prosser, who skated at forward in Parise's place, was also battling an illness.

Home for the holiday

While Minnesota embarks on a four-game, 10-day road trip to Canada next week, the Wild will enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday at home this week.

After a game against the Jets on Wednesday, the Wild is expected to have a short practice on Thanksgiving morning before a Black Friday matinee against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

That game will mark the front half of back-to-back games, as Minnesota plays in St. Louis on Saturday night. 

Players will get to spend their Sundays at home before flying to Vancouver to begin the week-plus quest on Monday.

While Thanksgiving and the Friday afternoon game present some interruptions to normal routines, it's no different than what other teams around the League are experiencing.

"If you're going to [complain] about the schedule, I think 30 teams should be able to [complain]," Boudreau said. "I think our American League team is in Winnipeg today and they have to fly to Charlotte tomorrow for Thanksgiving. That's a little tougher and those guys don't complain. We don't have a right to complain either."

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