ST. PAUL, Minn. - Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom could be practising at full speed in 12 weeks after surgery on his left hip turned up less damage than expected.
The team said that Dr. Marc Philippon corrected the problems in the all-star's left hip during surgery on Friday in Vail, Colo., and that the cartilage damage was less severe than feared.
Before the operation, the team had expected his recovery to take three to six months.
Backstrom started 71 of 82 games and went 37-24-8. His .923 save percentage ranked fifth in the NHL during the regular season.
The injury was from wear and tear, not a collision.
Philippon also operated on the hip of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez in March.