Wild lose Spurgeon for at least a month to hamstring tear

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon will miss a minimum of four weeks due to a partial tear of his right hamstring, a big blow to a team trying to maintain control of a playoff spot with 12 regular-season games to go.

The Wild announced the news Wednesday, after Spurgeon was hurt Tuesday against Colorado when he crashed hard into the boards early in the third period. His legs were spread apart, gymnastics-style, and split further after his collision. He needed to be helped off the ice and didn’t return to the game.

Spurgeon likely would miss some postseason games if the Wild, currently in third place in the Central Division, make it. The 28-year-old Spurgeon has nine goals and 28 assists in 61 games this season. He leads the team in blocked shots (127) and is second behind stalwart Ryan Suter in average ice time per game (24:32).

The Wild recalled forward Zack Mitchell and defenseman Ryan Murphy from their AHL affiliate in advance of Friday’s game against Vegas. With 85 points, the Wild have one game in hand and a two-point lead on fourth-place Dallas. They’re three points ahead of fifth-place Colorado, which has played one fewer game than Minnesota. The Stars and Avalanche currently occupy the two wild-card spots in the Western Conference.

For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

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