The banged-up Wild are starting to get their regulars back in the lineup.
Nino Niederreiter was back at practice on Thursday for the first time since suffering a high-ankle sprain on Oct. 12 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
He's not expected to play this week – when Minnesota hosts New York and Pittsburgh – but Michael Russo of The Athletic reports he could return to game action next Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Niederreiter came into the 2017-18 season coming off a career year where he set career-highs – 25 goals and 32 assists – across the board.
Minnesota rewarded Niederreiter with a five-year contract in July that will keep him with the team through the 2021-2022 season.
The 25-year-old winger was injured in the same game that the Wild lost Charlie Coyle to a significant leg injury. Coyle isn't due back for another month.
Earlier in the season, Minnesota lost four of their top-six forwards: Mikael Granlund, Marcus Foligno, Niederreiter and Coyle.
Granlund and Foligno are now back in the lineup, and with Niederreiter set to be back next week, the team is finally getting the core of forwards back together.
The Wild are in the midst of six-game homestand that started on Tuesday against Vancouver – they'll host the New York Islanders on Thursday from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.