Mike Russo of the Star Tribune has reported that center James Sheppard was involved in an ATV accident in Vail, Colorado on Saturday. Sheppard fractured his patella (left knee) and underwent surgery.
According to Russo, Sheppard will miss three to four months, but the team is saying there is no timetable for his return.
Here is the team’s official statement: “The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild announced today that forward James Sheppard suffered a fractured patella in his left knee in an off-ice accident in Vail, Colo., Saturday night. There is no timetable for when Sheppard will be able to return to play hockey.”
Three months from today is December 7, which is 26 games deep into the season. That’s not good for Shep, who was anxious to get to training camp and prove himself after a difficult year.
As for other players, the locker room in Xcel Energy Center continues to bustle with activity. Two new players that have joined the fray are newcomer Eric Nystrom and roster hopeful, Robbie Earl. Earl spent his summer in Madison, Wisconsin where he trained on campus with several other former Badgers and current NHLers.