ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota centre 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 defenceman 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 Jose.
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.
Defenceman 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 Wings.