2003 NHL MVP out at least eight weeks

Updated: January 21, 2005, 3:32 PM ET
Associated Press

ORNSKOLDSVIK, Sweden -- Peter Forsberg will miss the rest of the Swedish Elite League's regular season after breaking a bone in his hand while playing for his hometown team.

Peter Forsberg
Forsberg

Forsberg left Thursday's game in the third period of Modo's 3-2 overtime loss after colliding with Linkoping player Johan Franzen.

The 2003 NHL MVP underwent immediate surgery and visited a hand specialist Friday for more tests.

Team doctors said Friday that Forsberg dislocated his left wrist and that X-rays showed a fracture in one of the bones in his hand.

"It will take at least six to eight weeks to heal," Modo doctor Kim Thorsen said, adding that the injury isn't career-threatening.

If Modo reaches the semifinals of the playoffs -- in eight weeks -- Forsberg could possibly play, Thorsen said.

Modo is in fifth place in the Elite League with 14 games left to play in the regular season.

The injury ruined a festive homecoming for Vancouver forward Markus Naslund, who played his first game for Modo since 1993. He became the 14th current or former NHL player on the team, including Canucks teammates Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

They are among the over 300 NHL players who have signed on with European teams during the lockout that threatens to wipe out the entire season.

Forsberg was uncertain to rejoin the Colorado Avalanche anyway this season, opting instead to play for the Modo team coached by his father. His contract with the Colorado Avalanche expired after last season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Naslund, who scored an NHL-best 164 goals the past four seasons, got a standing ovation from the home crowd but went scoreless in his first game since the World Cup of Hockey last fall.

Forsberg and Naslund grew up together in Ornskoldsvik, a small seaport located halfway between Stockholm and the Arctic Circle. As juniors they formed one of the most dangerous lines in the Swedish Elite League before joining the NHL. They were not on the same line during Thursday's game.

"It was wonderful to be back and play," Naslund said, "but [Forsberg's injury] dampens it a bit."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press