Wild's Koivu misses start of road trip with broken bone in leg

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota center Mikko Koivu stayed
behind as the Wild left for a five-game road trip to continue
rehabilitating a broken bone in his left leg.

Koivu was injured on Nov. 17 when Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund hit him in the leg with a two-handed swing of his stick that earned Ohlund a suspension.

Koivu has resumed skating, but the team said Thursday that he
was not yet ready for full practice and will stay home for the
first two games of the trip.

The Wild play at Detroit on Friday and at Columbus on Saturday
before heading West for a three-game California swing that starts
in San Jose on Tuesday. Koivu is expected to join the team in San

Team doctors initially said Koivu would miss only about a week,
but in a statement released by Thursday, the Wild said the
prolonged absence can be explained because "bodies heal on their
own schedule and there is nothing we can do to hurry it up."

Doctors say the bone is now showing strong callousing and Koivu
is beginning to put more pressure on it.

Defenseman Nick Schultz, who spent Wednesday night in a hospital
after injuring his throat in the Wild's game against Philadelphia,
only has a bruise and is probable for the game against the Red