After one-month absence, Koivu still not ready to return

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu's broken leg has now kept him out for one month, and his return was still not imminent.

Koivu has been skating on his own, but he left the ice after a few minutes on Monday morning because of pain in the back of his lower leg. The crack in the bone has healed, he said, but the inactivity has caused muscle weakness that he must overcome before he can practice with the team again.

Coach Jacques Lemaire said he hoped to have the Finnish star back within the next two weeks, but Koivu was wary of putting a timetable on his return.

Koivu was hurt in the Wild's game on Nov. 16 at Vancouver when Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund slashed him on the leg with a two-handed swing of his stick that drew a four-game suspension from the NHL. In 19 games, Koivu has five goals, 11 assists and a plus-5 rating.

"It's been so long, I forgot his name," Lemaire said, jokingly.

Another one of Minnesota's top scorers, Pavol Demitra, is fighting the flu. He didn't practice on Monday, and his status for Tuesday's game against the Nashville Predators was yet to be determined.

The Wild (18-12-2) have struggled to find consistency, particularly as several key players have been injured, but they finished a five-game road trip with victories at Anaheim and Los Angeles over the weekend. That boosted them back into a tie for first place with Vancouver in the Northwest Division.