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Senators' Spezza out indefinitely after back surgery

Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 2:17 PM / News

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Senators' Spezza out indefinitely after back surgery
The Ottawa Senators will be without the services of Jason Spezza for at least two months due to a herniated disc, according to general manager Bryan Murray.

The Ottawa Senators will be without the services of Jason Spezza indefinitely, according to general manager Bryan Murray.

In a press conference Thursday morning at Scotiabank Place, Murray said Spezza, the club's No. 1 center, will undergo surgery Friday in Toronto to address a herniated disc.

"I can't give you a time frame simply because until the surgery and rehab starts we won't know the total extent," Murray said. "We are hoping that he gets back at the later part of the season and, if we're in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs, [he] will be able to participate at that time."

The usual recovery time for surgery on a herniated disc is six to eight weeks, which means Spezza could miss at least 30 games.

Spezza had a previous disc surgery in 2006.

"You can't replace high-end skill very easily. I don't think there is another team that will call me and offer help when I go back to my office. That's not how we work in our business. It's a big loss." -- Senators GM Bryan Murray

Spezza, 29, suffered an injury to his back in Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and had missed the past two games -- wins against the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens.

Monday, Spezza consulted with team doctors and visited a specialist in Toronto, then decided to have surgery.

"He had opinion with our doctors and went for a second opinion," Murray said. "[Surgery is] probably the best thing to do right now."

After the surgery Friday, Spezza will rest a week then begin the rehabilitation process.

In five games this season, Spezza had two goals and three assists. In 2011-12, he scored 34 goals and 84 points in 80 games.

Murray said the Senators would try to replace Spezza with somebody from inside the organization before exploring potential trades.

"You can't replace high-end skill very easily," Murray said. "I don't think there is another team that will call me and offer help when I go back to my office. That's not how we work in our business. It's a big loss."

Wednesday, center Kyle Turris was the pivot on the No. 1 line, flanked by Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek. The Senators won that game over the Canadiens, 5-1.

"We just have to make do and hope the group we have will continue to play hard," Murray said.

The GM also said another injured Senators player, defenseman Sergei Gonchar, will be back in the lineup when the club plays the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., on Friday.

"He was hurting a little bit," Murray said. "He just needed the day off. He'll be ready to play."

Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential