OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators will have to try and build on their impressive start without one of their star forwards.
Jason Spezza will undergo surgery Friday in Toronto for a herniated disc and will be out for the foreseeable future.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray told reporters Thursday that it's too early to provide a timeline for Spezza's return, but the team is hopeful that he'll be able to play again this season.
Spezza had felt some slight discomfort through training camp, but the pain was manageable. Things took a turn for the worse in Sunday's 2-1 shootout loss to Pittsburgh.
"He doesn't know the individual incident that happened," said Murray. "He went into the shootout and scored, but he said he was being bothered at that time."
Spezza was assessed by Ottawa doctors and received a second opinion before choosing to have surgery.
The Senators believe surgery is in Spezza's best interest.
"You could probably take days off and play a game here and there," said Murray. "But that doesn't make any sense for him or us so getting it done and hopefully getting it cleaned up will allow him to come back 100 per cent and continue his career. "
Spezza's injury will give Mika Zibanejad greater opportunity.
-- The Canadian Press