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Senators‚?? Spezza: Back surgery was only option


March 16. 2013 9:25PM
The Associated Press

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OTTAWA — Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza said having back surgery for a herniated disk was the only way he was going to feel better.


It was really bad, he said. It got to the point where there was no way I was going to be able to play, so it makes it frustrating.


But there wasn't really an option once we got down to it.


The 29-year-old says that once the pain started he struggled to find any relief, and things finally culminated in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 27.


I started to feel it a little bit toward the end of training camp and the start of the season and then it got out of control probably after the second game of the season, Spezza said.


It got worse and worse and halfway through the Pittsburgh game I lost strength in my leg and got real bad numbness and halfway through the game I pretty much knew I'd have to see someone.


For Spezza, who says he felt almost instant relief following the surgery, back issues are nothing new.


He had surgery following the 2006 season, but continued to miss games the following year due to recurring back pain. He has always had to be cognizant of the issue and undergo ongoing treatment to deal with flare-ups.


I do play hockey for a living and it's not easy on the body, but the goal is to strengthen it and have it fixed and not be an issue moving forward. If there's a doctor out there who can give me that guarantee, or I can give you that guarantee I'd love to have it.


Spezza didn't want to commit to a return date, but he hopes to return before the end of the season.


You always aim to push your rehab and you can be a little more aggressive with things, but (Gerry Townend, the head athletic therapist) already talked to me about making sure that we're doing things right and not getting too carried away, Spezza said. The goal is to get back by the end of the season and to hopefully help us to the end of the year and the playoffs.


The first couple of weeks following surgery are a rest and recovery period and then if things look good, Spezza should be able to start with his rehab late next week.



Kipper out, Street gets call

CALGARY, Alberta — The Calgary Flames have placed goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and center Mikael Backlund on injured reserve on Friday.


Kiprusoff was injured in Calgary's 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.


Kiprusoff was added to the IR retroactively and is considered day to day with a lower-body injury. Backlund is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.


The team also recalled center Ben Street from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.


Street leads the Abbotsford Heat this season with 12 goals and 19 assists in 44 games. He signed with Calgary last summer as a free agent after playing the previous two seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Calgary's next game is Saturday night in Vancouver against the Canucks.



EDITOR'S NOTE

Due to an early press start because of Friday's snow storm, the results of the Anaheim-Dallas game were unavailable.





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