UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 8, at 12:16 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Encouraging news for Ottawa fans as Jason Spezza (back) hopes to return to action before the season ends, according to OttawaCitizen.com's Wayne Scanlan.
Spezza will start his back rehab two weeks after surgery. Hopes to return to lineup before end of reg season. #Sens— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) February 8, 2013
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UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:42 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
Good news is coming out of Ottawa regarding Spezza's status. According to Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun, the star center underwent successful surgery on his injured back:
While the Senators will certainly be treading water while their star recovers, it's undoubtedly good news that all went as planned. If his recovery goes well, Spezza could be back in time for the playoffs.
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From Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun:
Spezza back surgery herniated disc Friday in Toronto. Out "indefinitely" says Murray, who hopes he gets back for latter part of season— Don Brennan (@SunDoniB) January 31, 2013
This is a catastrophic loss for the Senators.
Spezza was brilliant for the team last year, scoring 34 goals and adding 50 assists. His 84 points were his highest point total since the 2007-08 season and were a major reason the Senators made it into the playoffs and nearly upset the New York Rangers in the first round (he had three goals and two assists in the series).
Ottawa has come out of the gate hot, winning five of its first seven games and tied atop the Northeast Division with 11 points. This will surely quell some of that momentum.
Injuries are nothing new to Spezza. He missed 42 games between the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, somewhat dampening the bright career of the star center. But when he is healthy, he is a star—Spezza has four seasons with 80 or more points and four seasons with 30 or more goals.
And at age 29, he still has plenty of good hockey left in him. Unfortunately, staying healthy now seems to be a major hurdle. He's entering the "injury-prone" realm.
If Ottawa can tread water and remain in the playoff picture, the team should be able to make a late run when Spezza returns and be dangerous come the playoffs. But make no mistake about it, this is a major loss for the team.