ST. PAUL, Minn. — Walking on crutches after undergoing surgery on Monday to repair his fractured ankle, Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu addressed the media for the first time since the injury.
Koivu was placed on injured reserve following the procedure, which Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said should expedite Koivu's recovery time. It is expected he will miss about four weeks.
Koivu was struck in the foot during the second period of the Wild's 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals seven days ago. He left the bench for a portion of the game but returned and actually assisted on two Ryan Suter goals a few minutes later. Koivu played a couple more shifts in the third period, but Wild coach Mike Yeo sent him back to the dressing room after seeing his captain in visible pain on the bench.
"I think every hockey player has [been hit by] a puck in the foot," Koivu said. "Obviously, the pain is not fun, but usually it goes away if you keep playing and keep the skate on. When I kind of realized it was worse than I thought, the pain got worse and worse. That's when I realized it was probably more than a bruise."
Koivu leads the Wild with 27 assists and 35 points this season and is also a valued member of the team's power play and penalty kill units. He ranks fourth among NHL forwards in ice time, averaging 21:34 a night, and his 55.7 winning percentage in the faceoff circle is one of the best in the League.