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Backlund on the mend after abdominal procedure

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

It’s not one, as I touch wood, we’re not talking months here but as the doctors have told us, there’s the potential within a couple of weeks he could be back skating.Brad Treliving

SAN JOSE, CA -- Mikael Backlund is on the mend.

That was the news from the Calgary Flames camp prior to Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks, shedding light on a better timetable for a potential return of the 25-year-old centre.

“It’s not one, as I touch wood, we’re not talking months here but as the doctors have told us, there’s the potential within a couple of weeks he could be back skating,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said from the SAP Center. “With Mikael, the length of the time now there’s a conditioning issue. First, we need to get the health right and obviously get on with the conditioning.”

Backlund has missed 15 of 24 games this season with an abdominal strain that has hindered him since training camp. He played the first 11 games of the season, recording a goal and three assists, before being shut down.

“He did a couple of public skates,” Treliving said. “He obviously hasn’t been doing anything with the team. It was one of those where we really shut him down for a period of time, start to feel a little better, go out and just couldn’t get over the hump.

“Couldn’t get over the hump with it.”

A trip to St. Louis to see a specialist was required. A second consultation Tuesday followed.

The successful procedure was performed Wednesday.

“[Backlund] has been sort of fighting this thing all camp and really it got to the point where it wasn’t getting any better,” Treliving said. “He’d gone in and seen a specialist in St. Louis about a month ago, went back to him yesterday, talked this afternoon when he saw them and they did a procedure there, put in a little mesh plate.

“A lot of times it’s done with a sports hernia. There was no real sign of it. There’s a weakening of the abdominal wall so they felt this was the next best step.

“The way they’ve done the procedure, again, excuse my medical ignorance but it was done in a way that they feel somewhat arthroscopically they feel potentially that he could be skating in a couple of weeks. With these things you just don’t know. This has been a nagging issue all year. He got it addressed.”

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