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Patrick Jane

Jason Spezza to undergo back surgery

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The Ottawa Senators will be without the services of Jason Spezza indefinitely, according to general manager Bryan Murray.

In a press conference Thursday morning at Scotiabank Place, Murray said that Spezza, the club's No. 1 center, will undergo surgery on Friday in Toronto to address a herniated disc.

"I can't give you a time frame (on Spezza's return) simply because until the surgery and rehab starts we won't know the total extent," said Murray. "We are hoping that he gets back at the later part of the season and, if we're in the [stanley Cup] Playoffs, [he] will be able to participate at that time."

The usual recovery time for surgery on a herniated disc is six to eight weeks, which means Spezza could miss at least 30 games.

Spezza had a previous disc surgery in 2006.

Spezza, 29, suffered an injury to his back in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh and had missed the past two games -- wins against the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens.

On Monday, Spezza consulted with team doctors and then visited a specialist in Toronto and then decided to have surgery.

"It's just the best thing to do at this point," Murray said.

In five games this season, Spezza had managed two goals and three assists. In 2011-12, he scored scored 34 goals and 84 points in 80 games.

Murray said that the Senators would try to replace Spezza with somebody from inside the organization before exploring potential trades.

On Wednesday, center Kyle Turris was the pivot on the No. 1 line, flanked by Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek. The Senators won that game, 5-1.

Murray also said that another injured Senator, defenseman Sergei Gonchar, will be back in the lineup when the club plays against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C. on Friday. Murray said the veteran defenseman, who missed the game on Wednesday, just needed a day off.

NHL.com

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No doubt thats a huge blow to the team. Get well soon Spetzy

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Sucks for Jason and the Senators as a whole.

Though, Turris and Zibenajad have a real chance to prove themselves here.

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Sucks for them. Spezza has become underrated IMO. He been a very consistent (though injury prone) player ever since the lockout.

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Can't believe Spezza is only 29... already has 600+ career points. Only guy with more than him in the draft year is Ilya Kovalchuk..

Kovalchuk - 790

Spezza - 621

Pominville - 440

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Sucks for Jason and the Senators as a whole.

Though, Turris and Zibenajad have a real chance to prove themselves here.

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Bummer, hopefully he can fully recover even if it takes until next season. Ottawa have had a pretty good thing going but without Spezza they would be in trouble.

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They should deal a couple of their nice prospects for OReilly from the Avs.

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Damn, that is a huge blow for the Sens. I hope they can manage to win games during his absence. Would love to see another Canadian team in the Playoffs.

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