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  • Mats Zuccarello returns to practice for Minnesota Wild


    It’s looking like the Minnesota Wild could be getting one of their key offensive forwards back pretty soon.

    Winger Mats Zuccarello, who has missed each of Minnesota’s last four games, participated in practice for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Wild’s home opener. Per Michael Russo of The Athletic, it appears Zuccarello could be on track to play in Minnesota’s home contest against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (pending approval from the medical staff).

    Zuccarello, 32, has failed to register a single point since signing a five-year, $30 million contract with the Wild over the summer. In fact, he’s been on the ice for six goals against in just four appearances this season. Still, the Norwegian forward has earned a reputation as one of the better playmakers in hockey after a highly successful tenure with the New York Rangers. Slow start notwithstanding, Zuccarello is bound to play a significant role in getting the Wild back on track.

    As of this writing, Zuccarello remains on injured reserve. He will need to be activated in order to play against the Oilers Tuesday night. Another player will likely need to be assigned to the AHL to make room for Zuccarello. In all likelihood, that player could be 29-year-old Gabriel Dumont, who made his season debut against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

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