Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/10/13
ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild have stuck by goaltender Josh Harding as he deals with multiple sclerosis. Harding might be getting closer to rewarding their patience. For the first time since being placed on injured reserve on Feb. 12, Harding participated in a full practice with his Minnesota teammates on Wednesday, hopefully a sign that Harding's nearing a return. "It was exciting being back with the boys," Harding said. "It's a great feeling. I might have chirped a couple too many people while I was out there. They were gunning for me today. But it was all fun and I thought I held my own out there." Harding, who was diagnosed with MS late last summer, began the season on the Wild's active roster, playing in four games with a 1-1-0 record, 2.92 goals-against average and .885 save percentage. But in February, Harding had to take a step back as he adjusted to a change in medication, leading Minnesota to place him on injured reserve. Rookie goaltenders Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper have rotated behind starter Niklas Backstrom before Hackett was traded to Buffalo last week. Harding, 28, had been skating on his own and been on the ice at the start of practices at times, but Wednesday was his first full practice back with the team. "Felt quick, thought I was making the saves I should have made," Harding said. "Each day is a new step, but definitely happy with how today went. I felt like my old self, which was good to feel." Wild coach Mike Yeo said Harding looked good in his first exposure against the team, facing shots and a normal workload in practice. Yeo wouldn't say if Harding will be able to return with Minnesota having nine games left in the regular season, but is hopeful. "We're hoping, for sure," Yeo said. "It seems like it's taken a long time, but this is something you've got to make sure, obviously, that you've got a good grasp of it and it sure looks like he has." Harding said he and the doctors believe they've figured out the correct medication. "We think we got it all dialed in," Harding said. "We're excited for the futureWe're just going to take it day-to-day. Right now there's absolutely nothing that's a negative to this whole situation. I go day-to-day, feeling great and I'm just excited to be back." Harding called Wednesday's practice a "step in the right direction" and said he doesn't think it will take him long to get back into form. He said he's been watching video as well to help get in the right mindset. Complicating matters for Harding's return is the lack of practice time the Wild have left before the regular season closes on April 27. Minnesota currently sits seventh in the Western Conference standings heading into Wednesday night's games. Harding's last game action was Feb. 7 when he came in relief of Backstrom and played the third period. A conditioning stint, if needed, would be tough as well. Minnesota's American Hockey League team, the Houston Aeros, has six games remaining in their season. "Yeah, considering the amount of time that he's missed," Yeo said about Harding needing practice time. "Now, I know that he's been starting to hit the ice a lot more frequently, but getting out there and stopping NHL shooters, and just energy-wise and quickness-wise, he looked good." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker