Wings’ Bertuzzi hospitalized with back pain

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Detroit’s injury situation is going from bad to worse.

Already without the services of a number of key players, the Wings got more bad news on Wednesday when forward Todd Bertuzzi was admitted to hospital with severe back pain.

The 38-year-old has missed Detroit’s last three games with his chronically-injured back and, following a 5-3 win over St. Louis last Thursday, “could barely walk” according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Bert’s back has progressively been bothering him,” Wings GM Ken Holland explained. “He’s out for a while, but I don’t know what awhile is.”

Here’s more, from the Free Press:

Holland said surgery “is a last resort. No one is rushing into surgery.” Surgery would mean Bertuzzi is done for the season.

Bertuzzi, 38, has a history of back problems, dating to a herniated disk in 2006 that required surgery, sidelining him as he was traded from Florida to Detroit in March 2007. He missed five games in January 2009, then with Calgary, because of back pain.

Bertuzzi is in the first of a two-year, $4.15 million extension signed with Detroit in February. He has an average annual cap hit of $2.075 million. Given that he’s 38 and the injury appears to be severe, he could be a candidate to go on long-term injured reserve.