Marcus Foligno sported a new look at Wild practice Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.
On the ice, he wore a full cage for the first time since he was 15. And when he took it off afterward, he displayed a big purple bruise under his left eye.
“Oh, she loves it,” Foligno said of his wife’s reaction to the cosmetic aspect of his injury. “She wouldn’t say that, but she had some words. But that’s part of the game, and she knows that.”
Foligno returned to practice for the first time since leaving the Oct. 12 game at Chicago, where a fight with John Hayden gave the winger a facial fracture that required minor surgery. But after missing one game, Foligno said he is back and ready to play.
“It stung,” Foligno said of the punch that ended the fight and broke his face. “It didn’t keep me down. I popped right back up. It was one of those things at the end of a fight, you let your guard down, and you get pumped, and that’s what happens. You don’t want to shy away from things like that. So a fight’s a fight. I’ve done it, and now I’ve received it. So you get licked once in a while, you keep on going.”
As far as where that punch ranked all-time, Foligno said he didn’t know because he didn’t really feel it until the next day.
“But seeing the replay after, it was a good haymaker that came from way downtown,” he assessed.
Foligno will have to wear the cage for about two weeks until the bone completely heals. He said it will take some getting used to, but he’s confident he’ll figure it out quickly.
Despite the pain this fight caused him, Foligno said he’s not planning on backing out from a scrum in the future.
“No, not at all. That was the one thing I didn’t want this to [affect]. You either take a puck off the cheekbone, it could break, too, or you take a fist to it. It’s the same outcome,” Foligno said. “I just have to be a little smarter with my guard next time. It was a fight where I was winning it, and you just get popped the last second. So I don’t think that’s going to the way I play the game or the way I approach fights.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau agreed.
“I think he’s fine,” Boudreau said. “I mean, I don’t think there’s a problem. He’s felt good ever since he got hit. So I have no qualms about him jumping in and being the guy he was before he left.”
Winger Mikael Granlund was also back at practice for the first time since he played in the season opener Oct. 5. But his groin injury might still keep him out this weekend; Boudreau said Granlund will be a “game-time decision.”
“He was moving around. I didn’t want him to skate at the end because it was stops and starts, but I thought he moved fine,” Boudreau said of letting Granlund skip the skate to end the session. “He still handles the puck as well or better than anybody. But again, it’s one of those things that, looking fine in practice and looking fine in a game might be [not the same].”
Granlund said while he felt “pretty good” in practice, he’s taking a wait-and-see approach as far as his return.
“That’s the toughest part. You really want to be out there and play, but you know you’ve got to be smart,” Granlund said. “You don’t want to be battling with that longer than you have to.”
He was able to reunite with linemates Jason Zucker and Mikko Koivu, but said their chemistry from last season needs some rekindling.
“It’s easy to go back with those guys, but at the same time, it’s been two weeks since the last time I practiced,” Granlund said. “So it might take just a little bit.”
Parise’s return delayed
Winger Zach Parise was set to return for this weekend’s games after he has missed most of training camp and all of this season so far with an undisclosed injury. But he left practice early Monday and saw a doctor Wednesday about his setback.
“The only update I got on him is he’s not going to be playing this weekend,” Boudreau said. “Other than that, it’s up to Zach and the doctors. I’m trying to stay out of it, even though, obviously ... I’m very interested in what his status is.”