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Wild’s Ballard unable to finish practice, likely to miss fourth straight game

Oct 21, 2013, 8:27 PM EDT

Keithballard Getty Images

There was little news on the Keith Ballard front out of Minnesota on Monday, and that wasn’t a good thing.

Ballard, the veteran defenseman that’s missed the last three games after taking a puck to the face, didn’t practice today — this after leaving Sunday’s skate early because he wasn’t feeling well.

“We tried getting him on the ice,” head coach Mike Yeo told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “So let’s just hold him off for a couple of days and see what happens.”

The Wild aren’t saying it, but there are signs suggesting Ballard could have a concussion. The 30-year-old rearguard got hit with the puck during a 2-1 win over Buffalo on Oct. 10, and has basically been out of commission ever since — five days after the incident, Mike Russo of the Star-Tribune reported that Ballard looked “foggy and hurting.”

Minnesota is home against Nashville on Tuesday and will likely be without Ballard for the fourth straight game. Though he hasn’t made a huge impact for the Wild, Ballard was averaging close to 16 minutes per game and had a plus-3 rating through six contests, so his contributions will be missed.

  1. elvispocomo - Oct 21, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Hoped to see him doing well after having a tough time with the Canucks, so hearing he’s suffering from a likely concussion isn’t great news. He’ll never be the guy he was in Phoenix and Florida again, but he can be a good depth guy now that he’s more affordably priced.

  2. vstar1us - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Hope he gets well, he is a good spoke in the wheel for the Wild.
    We all know the Wild need all the spokes to work, because they need the help they can get.

  3. canucks30 - Oct 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Ballard’s a terrific guy who wasn’t utilized in Vancouver. Wish him nothing but the best playing in his home state in Minny.

    Hopefully he can get over his injuries because he was a relative ironman the first 6 years of his career.

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