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UPDATE: Don't expect Jason Spezza back until the playoffs. The general manager of the Ottawa Senators admits Spezza's recovery from back surgery has taken "longer than anybody thought or expected".
"Jason hasn't skated lately or for awhile now," Bryan Murray said Friday (Ottawa Citizen). "Based on that, I assume it will be difficult for him to get back anytime in the near future. If that changes in the next week or two, we'll see, but we're not optimistic that he's going to play games in the regular season at this point."
After undergoing surgery Jan. 31, Spezza was initially expected to be back around now. On the upside, forward Milan Michalek and defenseman Jared Cowen could return before the end of the regular season.
"... Spezza won't be back in 2 weeks. Still some stiffness in the back. Could take another 4 weeks ..."
However, according to the Ottawa Citizen, the Senators head coach claims to know nothing about any such setback.
"I have no idea," Paul MacLean said following Wednesday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. "I don’t know. Not that I know of. I don’t know anything about that. I was here all day, just like (the media)."
Spezza underwent back surgery at the end of January. He has been skating in recent weeks on his own.
***There's word Jason Spezza may not return for the Ottawa Senators in a couple of weeks, as anticipated. RDS' Renaud Lavoie dropped that bomb on Senators fans Wednesday (Mar. 13) evening.