| The Wild will be conservative when dealing with Marian Gaborik’s latest groin issue. However, the initial reports are encouraging. |
The usual euphoria after a well-played road trip by the Minnesota Wild was diminished somewhat on Sunday by uncertainty surrounding injuries to key players. Specifically, of course, that means the health of Marian Gaborik and his problematic groin. Gaborik, who missed Saturday’s 4-1 win over San Jose, underwent a Magnetic Resonance Image exam on Sunday, and the results that came back on Monday were encouraging.
The findings were told to Gaborik by team surgeon, Dr. Joel Boyd. According to President and General Manager Doug Risebrough, they indicated a mild strain located in the muscle. That means the injury is different from the problems suffered a year ago, which were located higher in the groin area near the tendon.
The initial feeling is that Gaborik will miss 10 days to two weeks, which is considerably better than what was originally feared. Risebrough obviously wants to approach the situation conservatively and not force Gaborik back too early.
"The doctors and Marian are feeling positive, because the muscle is easier to deal with," said Risebrough. "I don’t know when 100% will be, but I’ll gauge it on how he’s skating. He feels better than expected. When is that skating period? I don’t know. Because we’re taking a conservative approach, we might be more conservative when he starts to skate, but we’ll have to feel our way through it."
Last year, Gaborik spent two early stints on injured reserve, which forced him out of 17 of the first 20 games. At that time, he was despondent when he couldn’t contribute, but certainly the success of the team and the positive news on Monday had him feeling decidedly more upbeat compared to a year ago.
"It’s lower than last year, so that’s good," said Gaborik. "It’s in the muscle and not the tendon, so it shouldn’t take that long. It should be pretty good. Obviously it’s still sore, but it should go away. I’ll try to stay positive. It’s not torn and it’s not on the tendon."
At this point, there are no plans to send Gaborik to see a specialist to work on the area. Rehabilitation will consist of icing the muscle, stretching and massage treatments.
"I just have to try and stay on top of it," said Gaborik. "I’ll start doing some strength exercises and see how it goes. Hopefully it will be good, and I’ll slowly start skating and go from there."
The Wild played one game without the franchise’s all-time leading scorer on Saturday and the results were fantastic - a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire is hoping other players will continue to step up on the offensive end.
"(The news) is better than I thought it would be," said Lemaire. "Somebody else will have to pick up the slack. Overall as a team, we’ll have to step up. We’re doing fine so far, but it will be a tough run. Guys that normally don’t get a lot of goals have to chip in."
Mattias Weinhandl has been cleared to play after he skipped the Wild’s recent three-game road trip with a concussion. He underwent a base line test that proved he is back to normal.
Weinhandl suffered a concussion following a hit by Columbus’ Manny Malhotra on October 14. He skated on Saturday and Sunday, and practiced with the team on Monday. Weinhandl and the coaches are in agreement that he is back to 100%.
"I feel good, and I’m happy to be back. I had some headaches and dizziness the first couple of days, but it’s gotten better and better. I’m ready to go."
Dupuis Ahead Of Schedule
Pascal Dupuis continues to make exceptional progress toward returning from a strained knee ligament. Dupuis skated with the team for the first half of Monday’s practice, and his return appears closer than November 2, which would have coincided with the original timetable for his return.
"He’s not ready, but he’s looked good out there," said Lemaire.
Dupuis suffered the injury on October 12 against Washington.