Wild's Spurgeon and Zuccarello headed for surgery.
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Wild's Spurgeon and Zuccarello headed for surgery.

Two of the Wild's core go under the knife.

Jonathan Larivee

Hockey players have a well earned reputation as some of the toughest of professional athletes anywhere on the planet and therefore it will come as no surprise to our readers to learn that there were a number of players playing in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs at less than 100%.

That is effectively the case for every team at this time of year, barring a great deal of luck, and on Monday we learned of 2 serious injuries that were affecting the Minnesota Wild during their own Stanley Cup run this season. Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo is reporting that both veteran defenseman Jared Spurgeon and veteran forward Mats Zuccarello are dealing with a core muscle injury that will require surgery to repair.

In the case of Spurgeon it sounds like the procedure has already taken place and he is now expected to make a full recovery in roughly 6 weeks. Missing 6 weeks in the offseason isn't ideal as it will cut into a player's offseason training, impact his offseason regimen, and of course spoil some of his time off, but it is better now than during the season. According to Russo this has been a lingering issue for Spurgeon who he believes has been dealing with this dating as far back as the Winter Classic.

It sounds like Zuccarello is dealing with the same type of injury and as a result it sounds like his situation is very similar to that of Spurgeon's. Zuccarello however has not yet gone under the knife and Russo is reporting that his recovery timetable is expected to be roughly the same, so 6 weeks of recovery from whenever it is he is set to have his surgery.

Russo has also indicated that there is at least one more player undergoing surgery, although he seems somewhat less certain regarding the details of this one so I've saved it for last. As many of you know, Wild defenseman Jon Merrill was injured while competing at the International Ice Hockey Federation's World Championship, with Russo indicating that the injury was serious and will also require surgery to correct.

If you haven't seen it, here is how Merrill got hurt: