Cody McCormick battles Los Angeles' Mike Richards earlier this season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Cody McCormick hospitalized with blood clot; Torrey Mitchell ready to play

BUFFALO – Sabres forward Cody McCormick has been hospitalized with a blood clot in his calf muscle, coach Ted Nolan said Sunday.

McCormick will be out indefinitely.

“I’m quite sure it’s somewhat serious if he’s still in the hospital,” Nolan said following practice inside the First Niagara Center.

McCormick blocked a shot earlier this month and missed some practice time last week. He went to the hospital Saturday after team medical personnel examined him.

“I know he took a puck in the foot, he was limping around for a couple days, maybe it happened from there,” Nolan said. “I’m not 100 percent sure.”

McCormick played three times last week, scoring the lone goal in Friday’s 2-1 loss in Tampa Bay.

The 31-year-old’s status possibly created an odd scene during Sunday’s practice.

About halfway through, Sabres general manager Tim Murray walked onto the bench and began talking to Nolan. Minutes later, the two departed down the tunnel.

What was going on? A GM rarely talks to a coach mid-practice. It’s even rarer for the coach to leave the ice.

Nolan returned to the ice a few minutes later. Later on, he said the two discussed some recalls for the reeling, injury-plagued team.

“We talked about what’s down in Rochester right now, who’s available,” Nolan said.

The Sabres will summon some players before they host Detroit on Tuesday, Nolan said. They only had 10 forwards on the ice Sunday.

Update: The Sabres recalled forwards Zac Dalpe and Phil Varone from Rochester this morning. Dalpe has seven goals and 13 points in 31 games this season. Varone, meanwhile, played three NHL games last week, scoring twice. He has eight goals and a team-high 29 points in 36 games with the Americans.

They should have center Torrey Mitchell (foot, 12 games) back Tuesday. Mitchell and captain Brian Gionta (upper body, nine games) practiced with their teammates for the first time Sunday.

Gionta, who was hit high by Boston’s Matt Bartkowski on Dec. 21, won’t return this week. Still, “It feels good to get out here,” he said.

The 35-year-old’s veteran presence makes the Sabres better, Nolan said.

“When you’re home and your mom and dad are sitting right with you, you feel comfortable,” he said. “With Gionta, when he’s on the ice, our team feels comfortable.”

The Sabres miss Mitchell badly. They’re 1-10-1 since he blocked Erik Karlsson’s shot Dec. 15.

“We were playing well, we were winning games,” Mitchell said. “For one reason or another, the chemistry gets messed up a little bit, and we fall into a little bit of a hole.”

Winger Chris Stewart (flu) and defenseman Mike Weber (maintenance) missed Sunday’s practice.

Stewart should be ready Tuesday, Nolan said.

Former Sabres defenseman Denis Tsygurov has died at age 43, according to a report in a Russian newspaper. A cause wasn’t given.

Tsygurov played 12 games for the Sabres from 1993-95. They traded him to Los Angeles with goalie Grant Fuhr in 1995. He played 51 total NHL games.

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