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Sabres defenceman Numminen skates with team for 1st time since heart surgery

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres defenceman Teppo Numminen skated with his teammates Thursday for the first time since open heart surgery three months ago.

The 39-year-old Numminen was cleared to practise after visiting the Cleveland Clinic on Monday and following up with team doctors on Wednesday. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff estimates it will be at least a month before Numminen is ready to return to the lineup.

Numminen had surgery to repair a faulty heart valve in September. The problem was discovered after a routine checkup before training camp.

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