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Harding travels to Chicago, practices with Wild

Apr 2, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

Josh Harding Getty Images

There was a surprising sight during Minnesota Wild practice in Chicago on Wednesday — goalie Josh Harding partook for the first time since Jan. 19.

Here’s more, from the Star-Tribune:

If you remember, he missed the Wild’s four-game road trip to Pittsburgh, New York, Philly and Winnipeg to have an adjustment to his MS treatment. He returned to play two games Dec. 29 and Dec. 31 before being sidelined again. He then returned to practice with the team but then was sidelined for good starting Jan. 20.

Harding would only say he had a “rough patch” that was out of his control.

“This isn’t the time [to talk about it],” Harding said. “We’re in a playoff crunch. If I could’ve been out there, I would’ve been out there. It’s tough, it was tough.”

The Wild aren’t saying much about Harding’s status or condition, and there’s no telling if this return to practice is anything more than just a return to practice.

Harding was one of three goalies participating today — Ilya Bryzgalov and John Curry were the others — while one-time No. 1 Darcy Kuemper sat out with an upper-body ailment. A comeback seems unlikely given that Harding hasn’t seen game action in over three months, but Wild head coach Mike Yeo wasn’t ruling anything out, opting to focus on the positives.

“I know that he doesn’t want us really talking about [his MS], but the reality is it’s always going to be day-to-day, basically,” Yeo explained. “But he’s feeling very good right now and he’s motivated.”

  1. clarke16 - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    How huge would it be to get a healthy/rested Harding back? Just for his own sake–I hope he makes it back. Class guy through and through…

  2. strictlythedanks - Apr 2, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    fpuck yes

  3. esracerx46 - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Very cool Harding is coming back. I’m rooting for him…just not when he plays the Hawks.

    Btw, Hawks just signed Stephen Johns. 6’4″ 235. Big physical d-man who likes to hit. Hawks could use a steady guy along side Leddy. Too much rotation the last 2 years.

  4. henrik4dawin - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    If he comes back (or even if he doesn’t), he’s a shoe in for the Masterson, playing as the #1 for much of the year at a vezina level with MS, that’s freaking impressive.

    • esracerx46 - Apr 2, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      He’s got my vote for Masterton….if I had one.

    • dlhouse18 - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      He won the Masterston last year and no one has ever won it twice, let alone back-to-back. I’m a huge Harding fan and Wild fan, but I just have my doubts about that happening. He is the best candidate in my eyes, however!

  5. jcmeyer10 - Apr 2, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    A man if I ever saw one.

  6. dlhouse18 - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    Looks like my wish may be coming true. After Kuemper fizzled, I was thinking the only thing that could make this team dangerous in the playoffs is Josh Harding. Ilya has been good, but we need TWO viable goalies (always riding one hot one…). Plus, Bryz just isn’t a #1. He makes the routine stops that you expect for a backup, but you never get any “Wow” saves that you absolutely need to get out of a workhorse starter. Right now his numbers are a product of the Wild offense getting lots of possession time and really jelling in the past couple wins. Then there’s the top 5 defense in front of him too obviously.

  7. c9castine - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    well atleast everybody on here seems to be in the right frame of mind and rooting for this guy 100%

    not to mention, if he were able feel good, stay healthy, and get himself going again like he was earlier this year it makes the wild a whole new team.

    he still owns the leagues best GAA and SV%

  8. luvmnsports2012 - Apr 2, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Rooting for Harding! Would be great to see him come back after a great beginning, and what he went through the rest the season! GO WILD!!!

  9. mp1131211 - Apr 3, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    Keumper is hurt? I missed that. This team injures more goalies than any club I’ve ever seen. What’s going on?

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