Suter back with the Wild

Lethbridge Herald - - HERALD SPORTS | TOP STORIES -

Ryan Suter has ranked in the top three in the NHL for time on ice in all six of his sea­sons with the Min­nesota Wild, log­ging an av­er­age of 28 min­utes per game.

This year, he was forced to pon­der the fright­en­ing ques­tion whether he’d be able to play at all.

When Suter and his right leg crashed into the wall dur­ing a game at Dal­las late in the reg­u­lar sea­son, he broke two bones. He needed surgery to re­pair the fibula and talus and was told by doc­tors that, if he played a dif­fer­ent sport, his ca­reer could have ended. Even with the ex­pec­ta­tion the 33-year-old de­fence­man would fully heal and re­turn to his All-Star form, the off­sea­son re­cov­ery was daunt­ing at least and ex­cru­ci­at­ing at most.

“It’s been a long process, a long sum­mer, get­ting up ev­ery morn­ing and deal­ing with that,” Suter said.

When he first be­gan to skate about two months ago, oh did his foot hurt.

“I was think­ing, ‘Oh man, this might never get bet­ter again,’” Suter said.

Now, the ar­du­ous re­hab com­plete, Suter was cleared to skate with the Wild to start train­ing camp. He passed coach Bruce Boudreau’s in­fa­mously gru­el­ing con­di­tion­ing test ear­lier this week by spe­cial ap­point­ment, and took part in the first of­fi­cial prac­tice with his team on Fri­day. After­ward, he said he “felt re­ally good.”

“I’m ex­cited to be back play­ing for sure. You ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing healthy more. You ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing able to put your skate on and not hav­ing to limp around when you are healthy,” Suter said. “Just take ev­ery day to its fullest and have fun.”

Suter said he doesn’t plan to wear any pro­tec­tive gear over his skate. With al­most three weeks be­fore the Oct. 5 opener at Colorado, he’s on track to play in the first game.

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