Darwitz Returns For Gopher Women

Natalie Darwitz, who, it was feared, would miss the remainder of the 2003-04 season due to torn ligaments in her right elbow, has been cleared by Minnesota to play this weekend.

The injury was suffered on Jan. 10 at Minnesota-Duluth. At the time, Darwitz, a sophomore forward, led the nation in scoring with 41 points. Less than two weeks ago, she was named as a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award despite the injury.

The native of Eagan, Minn., has missed 10 games. She is expected to be in Minnesota’s lineup against Ohio State Friday and Saturday night.

Before arriving at Minnesota, Darwitz led the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic team with seven goals at the 2002 Winter Games. As a freshman, Darwitz led Minnesota with 33 goals and 35 assists and was named an All-American and a Kazmaier finalist.