Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner returned to practice Monday for the first time in 4 1/2 weeks and was scheduled to accompany the team on its two-game road trip.
Greetings. With Mike Russo traveling to Denver, and with Youngblood covering the Wolves today, Chip Scoggins was at Wild practice. Here is his report:
Stoner has not played since Feb. 2 because of a lower body injury. He said his conditioning felt good and that regaining his timing is the next step before he’s ready to return to the lineup.
“It was good to be back on the ice with the team,” he said. “Felt pretty good. Don’t think I’m ready to be in a game just yet. With a month off, you’ve got to get your timing back and get up to speed.”
Coach Mike Yeo was pleased by how Stoner looked in practice, but he didn’t want to commit to a timetable on his return.
“We definitely don’t want to put him in a tough spot,” Yeo said. “We’re going to make sure that he’s not going to injure it any further if he comes back in and that we give him a chance to play well.”
Stoner, who has appeared in only 39 games this season, has skated individually in recent weeks as he rehabbed his injury. He was relieved to finally practice with his teammates after a long layoff.
“Time just ticks by when you’re injured,” he said. “You’re not around the guys as much. Skating with our trainer makes things run a little smoother when you get out there. The conditioning isn’t there but I didn’t let it drop too much. ... It’s fun to be back with the guys and feel like you’re part of the team again and know that you’re on the path to recovery.”
In other injury news, forward Nick Palmieri (upper body) practiced and is questionable for Tuesday’s game at Colorado. Palmieri did not play in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Avalanche.