It has to be an agonizing feeling in the pit of Mikko Koivu's stomach.
Still recovering from a broken ankle suffered Jan. 4 against Washington, Koivu has still not been cleared to practice and won't be cleared tomorrow either, according to Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher in Michael Russo's column today.
That obviously means that Koivu will not play in Minnesota's final game before the Olympic break Thursday, and some of the quotes from Fletcher don't sound overly optimistic about his participation in the Olympics.
Fletcher speaking to Russo this morning:
“It’s a six-to-eight-week injury that we’re trying to accelerate and have him come back in five.
"If we can get him there, great, but I think people need to understand how hard he’s working to get healthy and come back. But it is what it is. Your body’s only going to heal the way it’s going to heal. There’s no magic wand here. He’s skating on his own, but it’s a long way from skating on your own to playing in a high-end international Olympic game.
"Once you start practicing with the team and taking contact, how long ‘til you’re able to play in a game, are there any setbacks? There’s a whole host of issues you have to look at. My only thing is I don’t want to rush it and I want to make sure we err on the side of caution. If he’s ready, great, but I don’t want to be gambling with his health and nor does Mikko...He can only do so much.”
Koivu is facing the possibility of having to pass on being the captain of Finland in the Games, an honor that would be his first, with his brother Saku earning the right to wear the 'C' on his jersey since 1998.
While we're still not sure when Koivu will wear a jersey again, we can now be sure he won't wear a Wild jersey again until at least the final day in February when Minnesota returns from the Olympic break against Vancouver.