(Editor's Note: Teppo Numminen addressed the media today regarding the heart surgery he is scheduled to have Thursday. The 39 year old veteran defenseman previously had two procedures done on his heart stemming from a dilated aorta he was diagnosed with in 2004.
Here is an exert from that interview. Tune to Sabres TV to watch it in its entirety.)
How shocking was Monday to you?
Well it was shocking, it was something I wasn't expecting. It really surprised me and I was just going for a routine yearly checkup and things had changed. Yeah, it was a big shock.
What will they be doing on Thursday in the surgery?
I don't want to get into the details of it. You can ask the doctors and they can explain better. It's going to be a surgery on Thursday. They said everything else. I can live a normal life and do the same things I've been doing [after the surgery].
Would you like to play and do you think you will play?
Right now, it's been quite an emotional week and my plan was playing for the Sabres this year . That hasn't changed. If everything goes well I will play.
Have the doctors given you any reason to think this may not go well?
Well, it's heart surgery so every time you go for a surgery there is are risks involved. The outcome, if everything goes well, I can be normal and do the same things I've been doing.
How long do you think it will take you to get back?
They said to get back from the hospital, four to five days. They have to go through my rib cage so that will be four to six weeks of healing with the bones. Then playing or whatever that comes after.
You're not scared at all to keep playing after surgery?
Well like you said procedures, there was two. This is a different thing. I think this was a surgery and the first two were procedures. It's a different situation... I never felt I've been taking any risks with my health and that's the way I look at it and that's how you have to look at it. It's not like I have to play. The health comes first and I never thought I would be risking myself by playing and that's the way I look at it in the future after the surgery too. That's what the doctors said when I talked to them last week. They said when the surgery goes well you can go back to playing and living a normal life. After the surgery I have to see how I feel and how things go.
Is this the same surgery they said you might be able to wait until after your career was over to have?
It's the surgery I knew was going to come eventually. It's just the way doctors think and what they know about the condition has changed in the last five years. They want to do things earlier than they maybe did in the past so that has changed.
You sound like you want to keep playing. Have you thought about retiring?
I enjoy playing and it's been a great two years here. It's been a great time for me so when you enjoy and love the things you do, you just keep doing them. It's just been so enjoyable and I could not find any reasons to not play.