Wild G Josh Harding may not be able to return to lineup this season

Feb 20, 4:10 PM

As the Minnesota Wild reconvened for practice on Wednesday, goaltender Josh Harding was noticeably absent. The 29-year-old was placed on injured reserve back on Dec. 31 due to his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and has not skated in two months, putting his availability for the rest of the season very much in doubt.

Head coach Mike Yeo, however, isn't prepared to go down that road just yet. 

"We haven't had any of those conversations," he told the Pioneer Press. "I'm still hoping that every day he's going to feel better and he's back in the lineup. But again, we don't want to put any pressure on him. We want to be here for him, so when he feels better and he's ready to rejoin us, we'll be more than happy to have him back."

When asked how often he talks to Harding, Yeo said "a little bit more frequently earlier, but lately we've just been giving him his space. So not very frequently right now."

Harding was having a tremendous season prior to this setback - he still leads the NHL with a 1.65 goals-against average, and sits third with a .933 save percentage.