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Bruins' Hunwick has surgery for ruptured spleen

Saturday, 04.18.2009 / 12:01 PM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

Boston defenseman Matt Hunwick had surgery Saturday to remove a ruptured spleen after complaining of abdominal pains upon showing up for a team meeting to prepare for Game 2 against Montreal at TD Banknorth Garden.

"The spleen was removed at 1 p.m. today," said Dr. Peter Asnis, the team's physician. "The procedure went uneventfully, and Matt is resting comfortably at Mass General (Hospital)."

The Bruins say the injury was caused by a second-period check in Game 1.

Hunwick is out for the series, Coach Claude Julien said he will be replaced by veteran Shane Hnidy for Game 2. GM Peter Chiarelli said the team is considering several options to replace Hunwick on the roster. The mostly likely is to recall a defenseman from AHL Providence at some point.

According to Asnis, the typical recovery period from a ruptured spleen is close to two months, which would keep the talented rookie defenseman out for the rest of the playoffs. However, Asnis did leave open a slight possibility that Hunwick could return earlier -- if the Bruins get that far in the playoffs.

Boston's medical staff examined Hunwick after he complained of pain in his abdominal area. It was determined that he need more complete medical attention and an ambulance was summoned.

The Bruins had reported to Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., for a team meeting and Julien said the first-year defenseman felt fine when he showed up at the rink, but soon fell ill.

Hunwick made his first playoff appearance in Boston's 4-2 victory Thursday in Game 1. He played 15 minutes and 59 seconds, taking two shots on goal and blocking two Montreal shots. But, at times, he looked flustered in his first postseason game and was taken off the power play after the first opportunity of the game.


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