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Oilers goaltender Khabibulin to have back surgery @NHLdotcom

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and is expected to be out 12 weeks.

He'll have the operation Thursday in Los Angeles, the team said on Wednesday.

The Oilers didn't provide a timeline for his return, saying only that he's "out indefinitely," but Khabibulin's agent, Jay Grossman, said the goalie will need 12 weeks to recover from surgery. That leaves him a narrow window to try and return during the regular season.

Khabibulin hasn't played since a 3-2 shootout loss to Columbus on Nov. 16. He has a 7-9-2 record with a 3.03 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage this season.

The 37-year-old signed a $15-million, four-year contract with Edmonton over the summer.

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