Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler is heading for back surgery and is out indefinitely, the NHL team announced Thursday.
Edler collided at centre ice with Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn Monday, then missed practice Tuesday. He sat out Vancouver's 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators Wednesday after complaining of backs spasms, and is now headed for micro discectomy surgery.
"After consultation with our physicians it was decided that surgery was the best course of action," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "The best long-term decision for Alex and our hockey club was to have the surgery immediately."
The 24-year-old leads the team in ice time, averaging more than 24 minutes per game, and paces all Vancouver defencemen with 32 points. Edler plays on the first power-play unit, and is a primary penalty killer