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Wild to return to practice Friday

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The Wild have been cleared to take the ice for the first time in ten days

Minnesota Wild v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

At last, there’s a light at the end of the COVID tunnel, for now, at least. According to a source speaking to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, Minnesota Wild players not on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol are scheduled to return to practice on Friday, February 12th, the first time the team has seen the ice in ten days since their last game against the Colorado Avalanche on February 2nd.

The biggest news gleaned from Russo’s tweet is that forward Mats Zuccarello may finally take part in practice after missing all of training camp as well as the first month of the season due to offseason arm surgery. Russo reports that Zuccarello (aka “Lizard”) is scheduled to meet with doctors and could soon be cleared to return to the ice.

While many of the Wild’s big names should be able to practice if they clear testing today, some notable exceptions are leading scorer Joel Eriksson Ek, defensemen Jonas Brodin and goaltender Cam Talbot, who are among the 13 players still in the COVID protocol as of Thursday afternoon. Captain Jared Spurgeon is also in the protocol, though it would be unclear if he would be available to practice after suffering an upper-body injury just before the Wild’s season was put on pause. Russo tweeted that Marcus Foligno and Marcus Johansson might be cleared as early as today.

The resumption of the Wild’s game schedule is still up in the air and the games that were postponed due to the COVID outbreak have yet to be rescheduled. Should everything proceed as currently planned, the Wild will resume their season on Tuesday, February 16th at the Los Angeles Kings.