Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise missed out on the 2016 playoffs with a lower-back injury but feels he will be ready to represent the United States in the World Cup this fall.
Questions arose about his future in playing when he was forced out of the Wild’s lineup at the end of the 2015-16 season with a back injury. His last game was played on April 5th against the San Jose Sharks, in which he took a hard hit from Logan Couture.
Since then Parise has been undergoing treatment for the injury and with physical therapy, and being off the ice, he has managed to avoid surgery.
Team USA is still three weeks away from the start of training camp and physicals for the event as the players are not set to report to Columbus, Ohio until September 4th. (The USA World Cup camp will be taking place at Nationwide Arena).
The American team is scheduled to hit the ice in their first pre-tournament game in just under a month on September 9 against rival and host country Canada. The first game of the tournament is set for September 17 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto against Team Europe.
Parise, 32, is a two-time Olympian having represented USA Hockey at the 2010 (silver medal) and 2014 Olympics. Additionally, he has put on the USA sweater at the 2005, 2007, and 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships. Notably, he was part of the gold medal winning 2004 World Junior Championship team.