According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu has been cleared to resume practice.
His first practice will take place when the Wild's non-Olympians meet at Braemar Arena in Edina at 2 p.m. today. It will be his first time on the ice with his teammates since fracturing his ankle in a game Jan. 4.
According to the Pioneer Press, Koivu wants to play in the Wild's first game back from the Olympics.
The injury kept him out of a month's worth of hockey in the NHL and forced him to withdraw from the Olympics, where he likely would have captained the Finnish team. Finland, meanwhile, knocked the Russians out of the playoffs to reach the men's semifinals in Sochi, Russia. Wild forward Mikael Granlund had a goal with an assist in the game.
Koivu was devastated that he couldn't play for his country.
“I just don’t feel healthy enough to feel that I can play at the level that I want,” Koivu said at the time, via the Star Tribune. “I really think it’s not fair for my teammates with Minnesota, with Team Finland, the management in Team Finland and most important it’s not fair for myself either. It’s been going on the last two weeks, but for sure the last week, just back and forth the emotions have been up and down. Had a good day, then following day it would be worse. Just the level that I’ve been skating by myself, I haven’t been practicing with my team that’s here, I just don’t think it’s fair to anyone to play for Team Finland.”
Meanwhile, the Wild recalled Jonathan Blum and Jake Dowell to add depth for team practices.