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Senators' Phillips rehabbing from cracked vertebra @NHLdotcom

Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips sustained a cracked vertebra during his rehabilitation from offseason back surgery, general manager Bryan Murray said Tuesday.

"Chris will require about a month of additional rehab before he's able to begin training to get back on the ice with the team and will not be a participant in training camp," Murray said in a statement released on the Senators website. "We do expect him to fully recover and be a big contributor the team's success this season.

Phillips, 37, told the Ottawa Sun on Saturday doctors are hopeful he might begin working out again in a few weeks, then work his way up to skating, but there's no timetable for his return to the ice.

"It's a significant setback and it's very frustrating," Phillips said. "The surgery went well and everything on that side was great. I don't know if it was a complication of the rehab and I'm not 100 percent sure how it happened."

Phillips has been a fixture on the Senators defense since the 1997-98 season, one year after they made him the first pick in the 1996 NHL Draft. He was limited to 36 games last season and had three assists. He didn't play after Feb. 5.

"There's never a good time to have a serious injury, especially when you are towards the end of your career," Phillips said. "… This is going to challenge me a little bit more to come back 100 percent and ready to go."

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