Suter back with the Wild
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.