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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Teppo Numminen (photo: Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Sabres team physician Dr. William Hartrich made the following statement today regarding Teppo Numminen's condition. 

Numminen had heart surgery to repair a faulty valve last Thursday.

“I have been in close contact with Teppo’s attending physician at the Cleveland Clinic and he’s extremely pleased with Teppo’s post-operative recovery," said Hartrich.  "Teppo is feeling stronger every day, and hopefully, he will be released from the hospital in 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.
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