Minnesota Wild defenseman Nick Schultz had an appendectomy Monday night. This is a huge blow for the Wild. Schultz, with the possible exception of Kim Johnsson, was the Wild’s best defenseman.
To give an idea of what he meant for the team, he wore the captain ‘C’ in January and February. He was also awarded a six year, $21 million contract extension in February.
So how long will he be out?
The Wild are not putting a time frame on his return, but his teammate, Mikko Koivu, missed 12 games from the 2004-2005 season with the same thing. So Schultz is out for at least the first round against the Avalanche.
He could be out longer, if the Wild make it past Colorado.
An appendectomy is the removal of an appendix, usually after it has ruptured. According to Wikipedia, recovery time varies by person. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Holladay was pitching after three weeks.
So let us assume that Schultz will be out three weeks. That will put his return at or around April 28, and ensure he will miss all of the first round of the playoffs. He will also miss the first couple games of the second round (if there is one for the Wild.)
Perhaps he will recover quicker, and will be able to start the second round. But he is almost certainly out for the first round.
Petteri Nummelin will recieve regular playing time in replacing Schultz. Nummelin dressed for 27 games this year, averaging about 15 minutes per game on the ice, and his -2 for the year. He had an assist on Sunday's game against the Avalanche.
(Picture by JamesTeterenko, retrieved from the Wikimedia Commons.)