On Friday, the Ottawa Senators got a sobering update on the status of last year’s leading scorer, Jason Spezza.
“Not even close to joining the team,” said head coach Paul MacLean, adding Spezza was at the “public skating” stage of his rehab from back surgery.
The 29-year-old forward, who finished fourth in the NHL in points (84) last year, underwent surgery to fix a herniated disc on Feb. 1 and hasn’t played since.
He only recently resumed skating, and today’s update suggests his chances of returning for the playoffs are slim.
(Ottawa clinched a berth in the postseason for the second straight year with a OT win over Washington on Thursday.)
The Spezza news is a downer for Ottawa, a club that’s received nothing but good news on the health front lately.
Goalie Craig Anderson came back from an ankle injury and has posted a 4-4 record with a 2.01 GAA and .917 save percentage in April, while defenseman Jared Cowen returned from hip surgery to make his season debut on Apr. 16.
Then, last night against the Caps, reigning Norris winner Erik Karlsson came back after a 31-game absence (lacerated Achilles) to register two assists and log over 27 minutes of ice time.