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Marcus Foligno returns to Wild lineup after another bout with COVID

Fortunately for Foligno, he only had minor symptoms last week. Unfortunately for Foligno, his wife and kids got it, too.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues
Minnesota Wild left wing Marcus Foligno (17) reacts after scoring against the St. Louis Blues during the third period April 16, 2022, at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
Jeff Curry / USA Today Sports
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno remembers feeling “a little bit off” after the Wild’s 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Easter. He woke up the next morning with a stuffy nose, a dry throat and a pit in his stomach knowing he had to get tested for COVID ahead of a road game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Though the NHL eliminated daily testing a couple of months ago, it still requires teams to get swabbed before cross-border travel between the U.S. and Canada. That’s how Foligno found out he had COVID once again.

“You get the test and you get the call back from the docs letting you know you’re positive, and you’re just like, ‘OK. Here we go,’ ” Foligno said. “It is what it is. I’m happy that at the end of day I was the only one that got it and we don’t have anyone else kind of going down that road. You want everyone healthy going into playoffs here.”

After staying home for his mandatory isolation period, Foligno was set to return to the Wild lineup Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center for a game against the Arizona Coyotes. He missed games last week against Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle and Nashville.

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“It’s been tough watching,” Foligno said. “You see a tough game in Nashville and the battle of it all. You miss it. It’s tough to watch. I think (my) heart races way more watching than (it does) playing.”

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Fortunately for Foligno, he only had minor symptoms last week. Unfortunately for Foligno, his wife and kids got sick, too.

“You’re dealing with two little ones that don’t know how to blow their nose,” he said. “It’s a little different and more stressful than actually being sick myself. Everyone is doing better now.”

Perhaps the silver lining of Foligno testing positive is he got to rest his body.

It’s no secret Foligno has been dealing with some bumps and bruises over the past couple of months. He’s just played through the pain because that’s what he does.

“It was good to kind of just quiet some things down with the schedule that we’ve had,” Foligno said. “Even days that we get a day off, it’s (one) day and we’re right back at it to hitting something again, or doing something like that.”

Not surprisingly, Foligno said his body is feeling much better after a week off. He added that he was looking forward to getting back on the ice to work alongside Joel Eriksson Ek and opposite Jordan Greenway, who also returned to the Wild lineup Tuesday after missing the past couple of weeks with an upper-body injury.

“I’m really excited,” Foligno said. “Just happy to back now and healthy and ready to finish off the season with the guys.”

Briefly

Jared Spurgeon (upper-body injury), Matt Dumba (upper-body injury) and Mats Zuccarello (lower-body injury) all sat out Tuesday’s game. It sounds as if Spurgeon is a little further behind Dumba and Zuccarello as far as returning to the Wild lineup.

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