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Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Edler. REUTERS/Ben Nelms (STRINGER/CANADA)
Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Edler. REUTERS/Ben Nelms (STRINGER/CANADA)

Edler undergoes successful back surgery Add to ...

The Vancouver Canucks say defenceman Alexander Edler underwent successful back surgery Monday, but that they will know more about his prognosis in the next few days.

The Canucks were told that Edler would require 10-12 weeks to recover post-surgery, a timeline that bumps up against the end of the NHL's regular season on April 10. Edler was suffering from a herniated disc in his lower back, which was not going to heal without surgery.

The 24-year-old was leading all Canucks in ice time, averaging more than 24 minutes per game, and was fourth in team scoring with 32 points. His placement on the long-term injured list provides some salary-cap relief, and will make it easier for the Canucks to activate injured defenceman Sami Salo, who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon and hasn't played since last spring.

Salo is no sure bet to return, but is expected to try playing again in the coming weeks. Before the Edler injury, the Canucks had been considering ways of shedding salary to fit Salo under the $59.4-million (U.S.) spending limit.

The Canucks are currently without four regular defencemen, all out with injury. Andrew Alberts, out with a separated shoulder, could be ready to return later this week. Aaron Rome, who is nursing a sprained knee, could be ready next week.

In the interim, the Canucks are using rookie Chris Tanev and Lee Sweatt, who have six NHL games between them.

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