National Hockey League News
Nashville's Sullivan to miss three months
Aug 27, 2007, 16:45 GMT
Nashville, TN - Nashville Predators forward Steve Sullivan will miss the first three months of the upcoming season due to ongoing back problems.
Sullivan, who has not played since February 22 due to a back injury, underwent a second operation Thursday and is expected to miss three months while recovering. The original surgery to repair a defragmented disk took place on June 27.
Sullivan has spent the off-season training and rehabbing his back and core muscles with trainer Alex McKegney.
However, he was still experiencing pain and went back to Dr. Robert Bray, a neurosurgeon who performed the original surgery, and it was determined there was a defragmentation of the disk, requiring the second operation.
'The rehab was going well until the last week or so when, in his words, Steve would get to a point where he could not 'break through the ceiling', said Nashville general manager David Poile said. 'He could not get through the last extension of his back without pain.'
The 33-year-old Sullivan, who recorded 22 goals and 38 assists in 57 games last season, missed Nashville's final 20 regular-season games as well as its Western Conference quarterfinal series against San Jose.
A ninth-round pick of New Jersey in 1994, Sullivan has appeared in 723 career games with the Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and Predators, collecting 228 goals and 349 assists.
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