What's the severity of Nick Schmaltz's injury, and when could he return for USA?

What's the severity of Nick Schmaltz's injury, and when could he return for USA?

Nick Schmaltz, who exited Monday's preliminary round matchup against Sweden with an upper-body injury, could return for USA Saturday vs. Latvia, according to coach Jeff Blashill.

"I'm anticipating he'll be ready for our game against Latvia," Blashill told reporters, including NHL.com's Brian Hedger. "But we'll know more ... as we move through the week."

The Blackhawks forward was removed from the game on his very first shift after Swedish captain Gabriel Landeskog delivered a heavy hit.

Landeskog was not penalized on the play, and did not face any discipline despite having a hearing with the IIHF disciplinary committee Tuesday.

Gabriel Landeskog texts Nick Schmaltz an apology for hit, will not face discipline from IIHF

Gabriel Landeskog texts Nick Schmaltz an apology for hit, will not face discipline from IIHF

Gabriel Landeskog will not face any discipline from the IIHF after delivering a questionable hit on Nick Schmaltz, who left Monday's USA-Sweden preliminary round matchup at the World Championship in the opening minute and did not return. Landeskog had a hearing with the disciplinary committee Tuesday but was cleared.

According to Kasperi Kunnas of MTV Sport, the Colorado Avalanche captain sent a text message to the Blackhawks forward apologizing for the play, which he was not penalized for.

"Hey man, I just wanna see how you're doing," Landeskog wrote. "That hit was maybe late, I am sorry for that. Hope you're alright."

Schmaltz responded: "I'll be ok, thanks for the text."

There has yet to be an official injury update on Schmaltz. USA coach Jeff Blashill did not provide one after the game.

USA returns to action Wednesday against Italy. 

Nick Schmaltz suffers apparent injury in USA's preliminary round matchup against Sweden

Nick Schmaltz suffers apparent injury in USA's preliminary round matchup against Sweden

Nick Schmaltz has had a solid showing at the IIHF World Championship so far, but he was knocked out of Monday's preliminary round matchup against Sweden early after suffering an apparent injury.

On the very first shift of the game, Swedish forward Gabriel Landeskog delivered a heavy, late hit on Schmaltz, who stayed down for a bit before needing some assistance from the official getting back to the bench. He did not return.

The Colorado Avalanche captain was not penalized for the hit, and it's unclear whether he'll face any discipline from the IIHF.

USA coach Jeff Blashill told reporters after the game that he did not have an immediate update on Schmaltz's status. 

The 21-year-old Blackhawks forward recorded two assists and a plus-3 rating in the team's first two games, and also scored a goal in the lone exhibition contest. He started Monday's game at right wing on the second line with Dylan Larkin and Brock Nelson.

USA went on to win 4-3, overcoming three one-goal deficits to do it.