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Updated: April 10th, 2013 4:07pm
Wild gets some positive news as goalie Josh Harding returns to practice

Wild gets some positive news as goalie Josh Harding returns to practice

by Judd Zulgad
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A day after losing 1-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild got some good news.

Goaltender Josh Harding took part in a full practice for the first time since Feb. 11. The following day he was supposed to start at Vancouver but did not because of issues involving his adjustment to medication he was taking for multiple sclerosis.

Harding, who announced he was battling MS in November, was placed on injured reserve that same day.

The 28-year-old has been on the ice in recent weeks during optional skates, but Wednesday was his first appearance in goal for a full practice since he went on IR.

"It was exciting being back with the boys," Harding said. "I might've chirped couple too many times out there. They were gunning for me, but I felt I held my own out there."

Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper have served as the backusp to Niklas Backstrom since Harding went out, but Hackett was traded last week to Buffalo in the Jason Pominville deal. Backstrom has played in the majority of games this season for the Wild, making his 33rd appearance on Tuesday. Backstrom, who has a 2.39 goals-against average, has started all but one of those games.

Harding said he doesn't think it will "take too long to get back into game mode," at this rate.

It remains to be seen if the Wild will send Harding to Houston of the American Hockey League for a conditioning assignment at some point.

Harding has appeared in four games for the Wild this season and has a 2.92 GAA. He has started three of those games.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding