Coyotes center Martin Hanzal
is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday morning to repair a herniated disk in his back.
By having the procedure done now, back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins believes Hanzal, 21, will have enough time to rehabilitate and be ready for the start of training camp in mid-September.
Hanzal injured his back while playing for the Czech Republic in the IIHF World Championship in May, and has been experiencing back pain all summer. To combat the nagging discomfort, Hanzal flew from the Czech Republic to Los Angeles this week to meet with Dr. Watkins who, after diagnosing Hanzal’s injury, told team officials that without surgery Hanzal’s condition would worsen once he begins absorbing contact on the ice again.
"While it is unfortunate that Marty was injured during the World Championship, we consider ourselves fortunate that we caught this early and, with proper procedure and rehab, Marty should be ready to go for training camp," Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said.
After Thursday’s surgery, Hanzal will travel to the Valley to begin his rehabilitation under the care of Dr. Gary Waslewski, one of the team’s orthopedic surgeons.
Hanzal played a key role for the Coyotes in 2007-08 and notched 35 points (eight goals, 27 assists) in his first full NHL season. He also wowed the coaching staff by playing solid defense against some of the league’s key scorers.