BUFFALO, N.Y. - Sabres defenceman Teppo Numminen will require a few days of rest after having successful open heart surgery to repair a faulty valve on Thursday.
"Teppo Numminen's surgery was a success and there were no complications," Sabres doctor William Hartrich said after speaking to the doctor who performed the surgery at The Cleveland Clinic. "Teppo is resting comfortably and will remain in the hospital for the next several days."
Numminen learned he required surgery after a routine checkup in Cleveland earlier this month. Barring complications in his recovery, the 39-year-old said prior to the surgery that he's determined to resume playing and could return to the lineup as soon as December.
The 18-year NHL veteran added that doctors said he would be able to continue living a normal life.
The Finnish player has had a heart murmur since childhood and was diagnosed with a dilated aorta in March 2004, when he was playing for the Dallas Stars. Numminen missed five games because of the condition before he was cleared to play.
The condition also forced him to miss one game and part of another during a playoff series against Philadelphia in spring 2006.
Numminen said he's had two "procedures" to alleviate the problem, but noted this time it's different. He said doctors would work on his heart by opening his rib cage.
Saying they're following league guidelines, the Sabres suspended Numminen without pay because of his health. Numminen signed a US$2.6-million, one-year contract in July.