Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker could return from his broken collarbone sooner than expected.
Zucker has been cleared to practice and could possibly return for some games prior to the end of the regular season, according to Wild coach Mike Yeo.
Zucker was originally expected to miss three months while recovering from the injury. But according to Pro Hockey Talk, he returned to the ice just four weeks after sustaining the break. If he's able to return before the Wild's final game, he would have missed just two months.
Getting Zucker back before the end of the regular season could be a big lift for the Wild heading into the playoffs. He was second behind Zach Parise in goals at the time of his injury and was leading the team in even-strength goals.
But it could also cause the Wild to shift a few things around.
Following Minnesota's final home game of the season on Monday night against Winnipeg, the Wild close the season with three road games – at Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis.