ST. PAUL -- A little more than six months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, Mikko Koivu is back on skates. And while he’s still being cautious with the recovery process, the Minnesota Wild captain expects to be ready to go when the team reports to training camp on Sept. 12.

“I saw the doctors a couple of days ago and we’ll sit down with (new general manager Bill Guerin) and the coaching staff,” Koivu said. “I should be ready to go by when training camp starts.”

Koivu, 36, after a high-speed collision during a game with the Buffalo Sabres. He left the arena on crutches that night and had season-ending surgery a few days later.

That proved to be the beginning of the end for the Wild, who went into a complete tailspin shortly after and missed the playoffs for the first time in more than half a decade.

That downward spiral probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Koivu is sometimes criticized for not scoring more, but the Wild sorely miss the two-way center when he’s gone. He’s long been a jack-of-all-trades, playing the power play and penalty kill while also locking down the opposing team’s top players.

“It was a frustrating year, not going to lie about it,” Koivu said. “You get hurt it was tough, really tough. You’re not at the rink. You’re at home. It’s just a different feeling. It’s tough to describe.”

Koivu said he has been skating “on and off” back home in Finland and plans to skate later this week now that he’s back in the Twin Cities for good.

“I skated on my own for a bit, and then with some other guys,” he said. “I don’t remember the date. It’s too long ago. It was a long journey and still is. That said, everything has been going good in that department. I think I’ll be ready for the training camp.

“That’s been the goal and I believe I can make it.”

Still, Koivu noted, the primary focus is being ready to go for the season opener against the Predators Oct. 3 in Nashville.

Koivu has amassed 201 goals and 487 assists and is closing in on 1,000 games for his career. If he stays healthy, he should hit that milestone sometime in December.

“You’ve still got to be smart,” Koivu said. “There’s still a lot of time for that. We will make the plan when we get closer to training camp.”