Koivu, Latendresse working toward return

MONDAY’S STORY LINE: The Wild went into the All-Star break on a positive note winning two games in a row against Colorado and Dallas.  Today as the team returned to practice, there were two more positive signs for Minnesota as injured forwards Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and Mikko Koivu (upper body) both skated.

Koivu, who has missed the last four games, skated alone before Minnesota’s 2 p.m. practice. Mike Yeo hinted that Koivu could possibly join his teammates in tomorrow’s morning skate.

Latendresse, who has missed the last 17 games, skated with his teammates, but without any contact. The 24 year old suffered a concussion on December 14th vs. Chicago. The injury came one game after his return to the lineup following a previous concussion that had kept him out 15 games.

Latendresse has only played in 16 games this season and said it was nice for him to be back with his teammates.

“It was good to be on the ice. I didn’t take any contact yet but just to be out there with the boys and shoot a few pucks on our goalie it was fun,” added Latendresse.

For Latendresse, it has been a frustrating few years. He has played in only 27 games over the last two seasons due to injuries. Latendresse said he can’t harp on the bad luck of the past two seasons when he finally comes back.

“I have to get my head before that and I have to get stronger and be ready because when I will be here (back in the lineup) it is the last stretch. The team needs me to be at my best,” noted Latendresse. “I don’t have time to worry about myself, to worry about the bad luck I have had the past two years. I just have to work hard and get ready.”

When Latendresse or Koivu will be ready is yet to be known. There is no timetable for either’s return, but Yeo noted Koivu is closer than Latendresse. There is a possibility that both travel with the team and practice on the upcoming road trip to Colorado, Dallas and Columbus.

HE SAID IT: “For all of us, players everybody it is making sure you get enough rest and get away from the rink and clear your mind. I didn’t spend a lot of time working and thinking too much about the guys and I am fairly certain they didn’t spend any time thinking about me. But, we were all happy to see each other again today.” — Yeo on the All-Star Break