Irmen returns to practice, Denver series status uncertain

Junior forward Danny Irmen has been out since separating his shoulder Jan. 28.

by Chris Lempesis

Minnesotaís menís hockey team now has two players wearing jerseys with white crosses on them in practice.

That addition occurred Tuesday as star junior forward Danny Irmen returned to the ice. Irmen missed last weekendís series at Michigan Tech after suffering a third-degree separation to his right shoulder in the Gophersí 3-1 win Jan. 28 at Wisconsin.

His return to practice comes one day after sophomore forward Kris Chucko ó who also missed the series with the Huskies ó began practicing again.

ìI felt pretty good,” Irmen said. ìItís Ö Iím getting there, put it that way.”

Irmen, who, at one point said heís ìalmost there,” said he was at about ì80, 85, 90 percent” Tuesday after being around 65 or 70 percent while shooting around before practice on Monday.

Still, Irmen said his chances for a return to the game action this weekend against Denver still are uncertain. He said he will continue to practice and that a decision will come later in the week.

ìItís day to day,” Irmen said. ìIím not going to play unless Iím 100 percent, because Iím not going to put the team in that situation.”

Irmen missed nine games early in the season with a broken finger. He came back to put up 12 goals and 14 assists (26 points) in 18 games before suffering the shoulder injury.