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Erik Karlsson of Senators could miss start of next season

Defenseman has foot surgery, GM hopeful he will be recovered in time for opener

NHL.com @NHL

Defenseman Erik Karlsson could miss the start of next season for the Ottawa Senators after having successful foot surgery Wednesday.

"Erik underwent surgery earlier today in Charlotte, North Carolina, to repair torn tendons in his left foot," general manager Pierre Dorion told the Senators website. "The tears, which occurred during this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, were found during an MRI as part of an extensive medical evaluation following the season.

"The recovery from this surgery is expected to take approximately four months. This timeline leaves us hopeful that Erik will be fully recovered and healthy to start the 2017-18 regular season."

The season likely will start around Oct. 10. Four months from Wednesday is Oct. 14.

Tweet from @ErikKarlsson65: Thank you everyone for your kind words. I don't remember a single thing from the surgery so it went well and as planned ������

Karlsson, 27, led Ottawa with 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in the playoffs, helping the Senators reach the Eastern Conference Final, where they were eliminated in seven games by the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. 

He also revealed after the Eastern Conference First Round that he had two hairline fractures in his left heel sustained blocking a shot during the regular season. Dorion also said Karlsson had muscle damage in his ankle.

"I'm not a surgeon. All I know is the two cracks, there's a chance they caused the tendons to tear and the pain because of that was excruciating," Dorion said.

"So for Erik to play with that type of pain, not even close to be being 100 percent, if you know anything about tendons and trying to skate, for him to play at that level, that tells me, 'wow, if he can play at that level on one leg, imagine when he's going to be healthy and really wants to go at it, how good he can be?'"

The Senators captain had 71 points (17 goals, 54 assists) in 77 games and is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman for the fourth time. He won the award in 2012 and 2015.

"It just tells us we have something special in Erik in Ottawa and we hope he's going to be here for his whole life," Dorion said. "It just shows how good a leader he has become and how good of a player he is."

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