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Report: Kirill Kaprizov suffered broken ribs from unpenalized cross-checks

Kaprizov has been out since suffering the injury against Winnipeg on Dec. 30.
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What kind of "upper-body injury" is Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov dealing with?

In a Thursday afternoon radio conversation with KFXN-FM 100.3's Dan Barreiro in the Twin Cities, NHL insider Michael Russo said Kaprizov suffered broken ribs when he was cross-checked in the back multiple times by Winnipeg's Brenden Dillon. 

Russo appeared to reveal details of Kaprizov's injury when Barreiro read a listener's email that wondered if Kaprizov is capable of standing up for himself when opponents get overly rough with him. 

"First of all, I don't think any Wild fan wants to see Kaprizov dropping the gloves, especially with Brenden Dillon. He's a tough defenseman. He's the guy that (Marcus) Foligno Superman punched a couple years ago. He's gotten in many fights. Nobody wants to see that. Nobody wants him to risk injury that way," Russo said. "Obviously in this case he had some broken ribs so he wasn't about to fight Dillon."

In the 2021 playoffs, Tampa Bay star Nikita Kucherov was cross-checked and suffered a non-displaced rib fracture in Game 6 of the conference finals and he wound up playing in the Stanley Cup Final with the protection of a flak jacket and the aid of a nerve block injection.

That's precisely what Russo suggested was a possibility for Kaprizov when he returns. The Wild star is on injured reserve through this weekend, though it could be a bit longer before he's back on the ice, likely playing through pain. 

"Yesterday when I was on the phone with [Wild GM Bill Guerin] he said 7-10 days probably, but again with the type of injury [Kaprizov] has, one, they gotta make sure he's healed but there are ways to play through that depending on his pain threshold and nerve blockers they can throw in there and things like that," Russo told Barreiro. 

Kaprizov suffered the injury in last Saturday's loss in Winnipeg. Dillon was not penalized and the NHL has not fined or suspended him for his harmful actions.

Kirill Kaprizov

Dec 21, 2023; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) checked by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Justin Barron (52) in the third period at Xcel Energy Center.