The Minnesota Wild appear to be close to having star forward Zach Parise for the first time this season.
The veteran forward joined his team on the ice for practice on Friday for the very first time since undergoing corrective back surgery back in late October. While he admits that there is still work to be done, it's a huge step in his recovery.
“(I feel) good,” Parise said as per Mike Russo of the Athletic. “There's still quite a bit … to go. I think it's getting better and better every day, and my conditioning is getting better, so I'm still going down the right path.
There were fears that back surgery could mean the end of the season for Parise and considering he has never played an 82 game season since joining the Wild it was a growing source of frustration for fans of the team.
With him at least skating in practice there is optimism surrounding his recovering, perhaps for the first time this National Hockey League season.
“There hasn't been any uncomfortable moments,” he said. “There hasn't been any scary things that have happened. It's all been good. I think I've come a long way since the first time I was on the ice. It's kind of almost baby steps. Just a little over a week-and-a-half, I think it's been really good progress.”