Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov participates in morning skate, return soon?

For the first time in nearly a month, Kirill Kaprizov was back on the ice at Xcel Energy Center Monday morning.

The Minnesota Wild held a morning skate as it gets ready to host the Vegas Golden Knights Monday night, needing a win to clinch a playoff spot. They’ve more than weathered the storm without their best player, getting points in all but two of the 11 games Kaprizov has missed.

Kaprizov suffered a lower body injury against the Winnipeg Jets on March 8 after Logan Stanley fell on him, and Kaprizov didn’t return. Despite missing the last 12 games, Kaprizov still leads the Wild in scoring at 74 points, and goals at 39.

After skating on his own in recent days, Kaprizov was on the ice with skating and skills coach Andy Ness on Monday.

"Trying to be patient with him, he’s just begging the trainers for the last couple weeks probably. It’s just a normal progression, he skated on his own then he skates with Andy. We’ll evaluate today and decide what we do," Wild coach Dean Evason said after morning skate. "We’ll decide if he comes with the group or not, and when that happens."

The Wild will take Tuesday off after hosting the Golden Knights, and head to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Evason was asked if there’s a chance Kaprizov could practice with the team Wednesday, and if he can’t play Thursday, what is his hope?

"I don’t know, we’ll wait and see. That he’s ready to play, that’s what I’m hoping. I’m hoping he’s ready to play sooner than later. I know he hopes that he’s ready to play sooner than later," Evason said. "We want him back in our lineup, but we’re going to do the right things."

The initial timeline for Kaprizov’s potential return was three to four weeks. Wednesday would mark a month since he went down.

The Wild is currently fourth in the West at 97 points, and as a one-point lead over Colorado and Dallas in the Central Division with six games to play. It’s imperative to finish strong for the Wild to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs with home ice.