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Zach Parise Practicing With Wild Ahead of Return

Zach Parise, alternate captain for the Minnesota Wild, has been held out of the lineup since the team’s contest against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, November 5th.

The 31 year old forward is sitting on seven goals — and nine points — in the games he has played; unfortunately, that’s only been twelve so far. The injury that knocked him out of the lineup, ruled a knee injury from an awkward check by James Neal via Chad Graph of TwinCities.com, has held him both out of the lineup and off the ice for team practices ever since.

The good news, though, is that the alternate captain practiced with the team on Friday. Chris Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune confirmed that he was present for drills on Friday, although he won’t draw into the lineup on Saturday still.

It’s good news that requires some patience, since there’s a lot to be missed when Parise is out of the lineup. Even if he’s on the ice for practice, things won’t fully go back to normal for the Central Division club — who sit in the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference as of Friday afternoon — until Parise is back in the active lineup again. His nine points through twelve games, for perspective, are still good for sixth on the team in scoring — and he’s a full six games in hand on everyone else in the lineup. That’s a big blow to the team while he’s sitting out.

Luckily, though, the team won’t be missing an additional forward on Saturday. Per the Wild’s official Twitter account, 23 year old forward Jason Zucker will be good to go by the contest on Saturday (ironically enough, also against the Nashville Predators). Zucker was injured by a slash in Minnesota’s 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday, when a late incident between Zucker and Bruins forward Matt Beleskey forced Zucker to be assisted off the ice before the game ended.

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