The Wild will be closer to full strength for Saturday’s preseason finale against Dallas, with Matt Cullen and Matt Dumba expected to return from injuries. But Zach Parise missed another practice Friday with a back issue.
Parise also missed Thursday’s optional skate after leaving the ice 15 minutes before the end of Wednesday’s practice.
General Manager Chuck Fletcher gave an upbeat answer when asked about Parise’s progress following that abbreviated Wednesday practice. Bruce Boudreau followed suit Friday, despite not having the All-Star winger with the team again.
“We’re hoping — there’s no real update except that he keeps getting better and better,” Boudreau said. “And hopefully by practice Monday — that, in a positive mode — we’d like to see him go full-bore on the ice.”
Boudreau hasn’t publicly ruled out having Parise ready for Thursday’s regular-season opener at Detroit. But Parise, who missed the 2016 postseason with a herniated disk, has yet to be cleared for contact.
Cullen missed five of the first six preseason games and was “day-to-day” at one point with an unspecified injury. He practiced at full speed this week.
Dumba tweaked an ankle in Tuesday’s loss at Dallas but looked strong on his skates in Thursday and Friday’s practice.
Ryan Suter also is expected back after missing Friday’s practice so he could be in Madison, Wis., where his late father, Bob Suter, was being inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame.