Joe Sakic, already sidelined after a snow blower accident last month, underwent surgery for a herniated disk yesterday and will need about 10 weeks to recover.
If Sakic returns on schedule in mid-March, the Colorado Avalanche captain could salvage the final month of his injury-riddled 20th NHL season.
Sakic had hoped rehab would be sufficient for his bad back, which he hurt Nov. 28, but team doctor Andrew Parker said surgery became the best option and the operation was successful.
Sakic will spend a week to 10 days resting at home before beginning his rehab.
Last month, Sakic broke three fingers on his left hand trying to clear snow from a machine at his home, an injury that was expected to sideline him through late February.