Sabres' Numminen recovering; release expected in days

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen is
recovering from open heart surgery and is expected to be released
from a Cleveland hospital within days, the team's doctor said.

The 39-year-old Finn said he could return to the Sabres by
December. He had surgery last week to repair a faulty valve.

"Teppo's feeling stronger every day, and hopefully he will be
released from the hospital in the next several days," Buffalo team
doctor William Hartrich said Tuesday after conferring with
Numminen's attending physician at the Cleveland Clinic. "He's
extremely pleased with Teppo's postoperative recovery."

Numminen, an 18-year NHL veteran, has had a heart murmur since
childhood and was diagnosed with a dilated aorta in 2004 wile
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 2006.