College Hockey:
Lucia Has Surgery; Expected Back This Week

Minnesota Coach Has Vertebrae Fused

— Minnesota coach Don Lucia is expected to return to his team later this week after undergoing surgery to relieve and prevent permanent numbness in his right arm and hand, the school announced Wednesday.



Lucia, who has led the Gophers to two straight national championships, had some of his cervical vertebrae fused Tuesday afternoon at Fairview-University Medical Center’s Riverside Campus. Dr. Timothy Garvey of the University of Minnesota Physicians group performed the surgery.

The Minnesota coach will not be able to skate for a few weeks, but he is expected to be able to return to the team later this week. He’ll watch this weekend’s games against St. Cloud State from the Mariucci Arena press box.

According to the school, Lucia wanted to postpone the surgery until the end of the season, but an increasing need to relieve the symptoms prompted the decision to proceed.

Lucia is in his fifth season at Minnesota, where he has a 127-61-20 record. In 17 seasons overall, including stops at Alaska-Fairbanks and Colorado College, he’s 406-216-49.

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