Wild’s Dumba expected to have surgery, miss ‘significant time’

The Minnesota Wild have struggled to score since losing defenseman Matt Dumba to an unspecified upper-body injury during a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Now they could be without Dumba for much longer than expected.

General manager Paul Fenton announced Friday that Dumba is expected to have surgery next week and will miss “a significant time.”

Fenton told reporters that the news came as a major shock to Dumba.

“There’s no question that it really hurts,” Fenton said. “I was really glad with the way our defense was playing. We had balance.”

Dumba fought Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk in the opening minute of Saturday’s game, continuing a feud between the two teams that dates back to the Wild’s 2-0 loss to the Flames on Dec. 6.

Dumba continued to play in the first period, but didn’t return for the second.

It’s a major blow for Minnesota, which has scored just two total goals in consecutive losses to Calgary, the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins over the past week.

Dumba, 24, leads all NHL defensemen with 12 goals, and ranks second on the Wild in scoring.

Now in his sixth season, Dumba was on pace for a career season with 12 goals and 22 points through 32 games.

Dumba signed a five-year, $30 million contract in July after setting career highs with 14 goals and 50 points, while playing in all 82 regular-season games last season.