Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Granlund likely out for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wild news, Wild practice Updated: December 18, 2013 - 12:01 PM

Center Mikael Granlund was one of a handful of Wild players who took the ice for a brief skate Wednesday morning on what was otherwise a day off for the team. Granlund will accompany the team on its upcoming three-game road trip. But he almost certainly will not play Thursday in Pittsburgh.

“He had a good day (Tuesday),” Wild coach Mike Yeo said of Granlund, who continued the process of his return from a concussion by skating with his teammates for a third straight day. “But I’d say it’s still a stretch for [the Pittsburgh game]. But you never know.’’

Granlund missed his 10th straight game Tuesday and his 12th in 13 games. The plan had been for Granlund to get in a good workout Tuesday afternoon, then have the team push him in practice Wednesday before deciding on his status for Thursday’s game.

But, after Tuesday’s shootout win over Vancouver, Yeo and his coaching staff decided against practicing Wednesday.

“We were hoping to have a practice today,” Yeo said. “But we figured, after the game, watching the game, seeing our players, that we needed a rest day.’’

So that changed the timeline. Yeo wanted Granlund to have one more hard practice before his return, which will happen in the two-day break between the team’s game in Pittsburgh tomorrow and  Sunday’s game against the Rangers in New York. It is possible Granlund could return against the Rangers. But, Thursday, he’ll probably sit.

“I was probably leaning towards him not playing tomorrow,” Yeo said. “But a good practice could have changed my mind a little bit.’’

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