Update at 7:45 p.m. I just got off the phone with Aeros GM Jim Mill. Cuma did tear his left ACL. He will have to undergo reconstructive surgery and is expected to miss six months. The date of the surgery has not yet been determined. Horrible blow for a solid player that's had some horrible injury luck since being drafted by the Wild.
For details of Cuma's injury, see below.
Good early evening. I'll be on Sunday Sports Wrap on Channel 5 tonight talking to Joe Schmit about the red-hot Wild.
Nice crowd of 9,104 made it out to Xcel Energy Center today to watch the Houston Aeros play the Peoria Rivermen and meet and get autographs from some Wild and Aeros players.
First off, the Aeros are better than what you saw.
I think two things were clear: 1) Many of the players were nervous playing in front of the fans and the Wild brass. As Mike Yeo said, it's human nature, but what's sad is Yeo said it didn't need to be like that. The team's been red hot and all they needed to do was continue to do what had made them successful. But the jitters made the team attempt a lot of uncharacteristic things; 2) The Aeros just looked flat from a long road trip and they didn't seem to have much fight or pushback.
Regardless, they're still first in the AHL West.
The one real bad news from the game was Wild 2008 first-round pick Tyler Cuma, who's sustained an unbelievable amount of injuries since being drafted, injured his left ACL during a violent collision with the end boards.
The extent of the injury had not yet been revealed, but he was taken off the ice on a stretcher and taken to TRIA for an MRI. It's Cuma's third injury to that left knee. He's sprained his MCL and tore his meniscus, an injury that was operated on by orthopedist Joel Boyd.
Boyd was on the ice with Cuma after this incident, one that Cuma "panicked" over, according to teammate Robbie Earl, who was right there. It looked like a harmless play at first. Cuma tried to shoulder check a Peoria player and suddenly his legs went horizontal to the ice and slammed feet first into the boards.
He immediately crumpled and didn't move, slamming the ice with his hand. After they got him on his back, Cuma's hands were over his eyes.
Cuma, since being drafted, has suffered three knee injuries, an elbow injury, an injury to his nether regions and a stress fracture to his foot. Earl and Yeo both said that Cuma has been really progressing lately, so that makes this a real sad blow for Cuma and to the Aeros.
Hopefully it's not the worst, but it didn't look good. If I get an update on the seriousness to Cuma's ACL injury, I'll update the blog as soon as I can.
Check out Monday's paper for an Aeros' story and Cuma story. Have a good night and talk to you after Monday's Wild practice.