SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster had surgery Thursday to repair a broken left leg and will miss the remainder of this season, including the playoffs.
Foster had a rod inserted to repair a fractured left fibula and will spend at least two days recovering at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., before returning home, team spokesman Aaron Sickman said.
The gruesome injury happened Wednesday night during the Wild's 4-3 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks. Foster collided with Sharks rookie Torrey Mitchell and then crashed into the wall in the second period. He had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.
"When a guy goes down, you have to battle through it," defenseman Kim Johnsson said after the game. "You have to keep winning games. Seeing Foster like that, you don't want to see anyone get hurt like that."
It's a big blow for the Wild. Minnesota is just three points ahead of Calgary, Colorado and Vancouver in the tight Northwest Division.
If Brent Burns and Nick Schultz are the team's top two defenseman, Foster was right there behind them. At 6-foot-5, he has plenty of size to be a physical presence at the blue line, but also has been showing a knack for getting involved on the offensive end.
"I thought he was playing great," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He was playing his best hockey. It's a big loss."