Near the end of November, Parise suffered a foot contusion after blocking a shot. He was supposed to be out of the lineup for 2-3 weeks but returned after only a few days. Since then he hasn't been his usual effective self with just five points in 12 games. They re-evaluated the foot and the MRI result wasn't good news for the Wild or the USA.
From Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Zach Parise continues to work hard off the ice but is not allowed to be on it. I don't think we're going to see him for awhile. I don't know what awhile means, but I hear the latest MRI he had showed a fracture in his foot that didn't show up the first time around.
Typically stress fractures take four to six weeks. Knowing Parise, it won't take that long and this shouldn't affect his Olympic status, but coach Mike Yeo has changed his tune the past few days and stopped calling it day-to-day.
"We've got to keep him off the ice until it starts to feel better and then we might have to keep him off a little bit longer," Yeo said this morning. "We just have make sure he gets a full opportunity to heal. It's a long season and we need him to have the opportunity to go out and perform and compete at the level that he's capable of."
That doesn't sound like good news at all at this point. If Parise were out at the max end of that timeline, it would have him returning at a point where his first game post injury could be for Team USA. Ideally he would be able to return sooner than that, play some for the Wild and be ready to go at full speed for the Olympics. Everybody would benefit most from that situtation.
In the meantime, though, it's the Wild's loss and it's a tough one. Even with the relative lack of production lately, Parise is third on the team in points, just one behind the co-leaders Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville despite three fewer games. Considering the Wild have the second worst offense in the league in terms of goals per game, losing a player with 15 goals in 37 games is anything but ideal.