Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise could require season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disk, the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported Thursday.
The Wild announced Wednesday that Parise would miss the first two games of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars because of an upper-body injury. Game 1 is at American Airlines Center on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW).
Parise met with spinal specialists at the Mayo Clinic on Monday and it was being determined if he would need microdiscectomy surgery to relieve pressure on a nerve in his spinal column, according to reporter Michael Russo. He was feeling tingling in his legs and numbness in his feet because of the herniated disk, and is trying to alleviate the problem with physical therapy.
Parise led the Wild with 25 goals and was second with 53 points in 70 regular-season games. He also has 30 goals and 68 points in 89 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and helped the New Jersey Devils reach the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
"You're always going to miss his leadership and his tenacity, and his workmanship. Just everything," Wild interim coach John Torchetti told the Star-Tribune on Wednesday. "He's one of our leaders for the team. But you can't worry about what you don't have. You have to work with what you have. So that's what we're focused on."
The Wild also won't have forwards Thomas Vanek and Erik Haula for Game 1. Vanek is considered week-to-week because of an upper-body injury. Haula has a lower-body injury, but made the trip to Dallas.