Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/16/12
FRIDAY'S STORY LINE: Mikko Koivu (upper body) has missed 13 games, Niklas Backstrom (lower body) has missed six and one thing is for sure, both are anxious to get back into the lineup. "It has been awhile and it was only four games in between there. It has been very frustrating being away from the guys and being away from the game. It is just a bad feeling, a frustrating feeling," Koivu said today. Koivu was cleared for contact yesterday and has had two good practices where he has participated in battle drills with his teammates. Koivu skated on his usual line with Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi today and it appears he is close to a return. Still, Koivu knows he needs to exercise patience. "You have to be patient and go step-by-step and make sure we do the right thing here," added Koivu. Backstrom was injured on March 1st and is itching to get back in the lineup, but knows you have to make wise decisions when dealing with injuries. "You have to be smart. It sucks to be out and you want to get back out there as fast as possible," said Backstrom. Backstrom was injured on March 1st and had targeted tomorrow's game as one he would like to return in. Backstrom said he felt close to normal today, but it appears he might need a few more days before he can return to the lineup. "Today was a pretty good day and it is getting close. I think just a couple more days and it will be fine. Everything feels good," said Backstrom. "Today out there felt almost normal, not yet, but pretty close." Mike Yeo would love to have the players back tomorrow, but knows rushing the players back can be dangerous. Yeo wants to be sure they are one-hundred precent before he puts them back in the lineup. "We don't want to hurt anybody. We don't want anyone going out there and playing two shifts and hurting themselves," said Yeo. "There is always an element of risk in this game, but we have to make sure we give these guys ample rest and the opportunity to heal," added Yeo. The Wild will play Carolina tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and the decisions on Koivu, Backstrom and Matt Cullen (lower body) will be made before the game. still, Yeo was cautious in calling them game-time decisions. "I want to be careful to say Mikko is game-time, same with Back," said Yeo. "It would be a game-time decision if Mikko came to us and said I am ready to go, and then if he is real confident in that, then we would decide," said Yeo. CULLEN RETURNS TO PRACTICE: Cullen (lower body) returned to practice today. Cullen said he felt better, but no decisions have been made on his status for tomorrow. HE SAID IT: "I have been able to skate and do all kind of workouts, so it is not about the conditioning, it is getting used to the pace again, the fast game out there and it is obviously a little different than practice." -- Mikko Koivu on being in game shape
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

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

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

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