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Wild’s Parise expected to miss first two games of new season

Minnesota Wild v New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 17: Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 17, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Wild 7-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The Minnesota Wild open the season against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday and Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, and are expected to do so without Zach Parise in the lineup.

Parise was held out at the beginning of training camp due to a back injury, and he’s still recovering from that as Minnesota opens its season on the road. If all goes well, said general manager Chuck Fletcher, Parise could re-join the team for practice on Monday.

Following Saturday’s contest, the Wild will have four days until their next game, which goes Oct. 12 versus Chicago.

“He’s having a hard time getting over the hump, having a hard time getting to 100 percent,’’ Fletcher said, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “So after speaking with the doctors on the weekend, we’re just going to slow him down a little bit, pull it back a bit.

“He’s in great shape. He’s been skating. He feels great. But we’ve just got to make sure we do the right thing here. It’s a long season, and I think after speaking with Zach and the doctors, we all agreed there’s no rush just to play Thursday. So let’s be smart.”

Parise played 69 games for Minnesota last season, scoring 19 goals and 42 points. He also had to contend with injuries, including a foot injury.

On Monday, the Wild sent 2016 first-round pick Luke Kunin to the American Hockey League and placed defenseman Ryan Murphy on waivers.