Tanner Fritz will miss six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot in his hand, Isles President and GM Lou Lamoriello announced on Sunday.
"He had a little bit of a blood clot between two fingers, so they had to do some surgery and he'll be out six to eight weeks," Lamoriello said. "The operation was 100% successful. It's just the nature of the type of procedure that was done, that it'll take that bit of time. He's fine. It's unfortunate for Tanner, who came in and did so well, but as I said, he'll be fully recovered."
Fritz's injury comes four games after being recalled on March 21. The 27-year-old was called up to replace Valtteri Filppula, who is currently recovering from an upper-body injury, as the team's third line center. Trotz said Filppula has been skating, but there is no timetable on the veteran's return.
Video: Lamoriello reports Tanner Fritz out 6-8 weeks
In Fritz's absence over the past two games, Leo Komarov has shifted to center on the third line, while Tom Kuhnhackl has drawn into the lineup. Lamoriello said there were no immediate plans to recall a replacement from Bridgeport.
"We're very comfortable with the people we have here," Lamoriello said. "We'll just go accordingly."
The injury comes at an inopportune time for Fritz, who was looking at an extended audition with Filppula out and made an impression with his speed and tenacity. His individual effort to kill off 30 seconds of an Isles penalty kill against Arizona did not go unnoticed by Head Coach Barry Trotz.
"It's disappointing because there was a great opportunity," Trotz said. "This time of year is when you can solidify your place as a player. [It's] unfortunate for Tanner, Tanner was playing well. We were hoping that he'd fit that spot. That's the sport. Guys get hurt."
Video: Practice Update 3/31: Barry Trotz
MAINTENANCE DAY FOR BAILEY:
Josh Bailey took a maintenance day at Sunday's practice and is fine, according to Lamoriello.
Video: Practice Update 3/31: Anders Lee