The Chicago Blackhawks soon could be in the hunt for a second-line centre with David Bolland out of action for the next three to four months.
Bolland, 23, had surgery Tuesday to repair a herniated disc in his back.
"Dave underwent minimally invasive surgery today for a herniated disk," Blackhawks head physician Michael Terry said in a statement. "The surgery went well and we anticipate a full recovery. He should be back in 12 to 16 weeks."
Bolland has two goals and six points in 13 NHL games this season, his fourth in Chicago after a solid junior career with the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights.
The Mimico, Ont., native has appeared in 134 regular-season games over parts of the last four seasons with the Blackhawks, recording 25 goals and 45 assists for 70 points.
Bolland posted a career-high 19 goals and 47 points last season before finishing fourth in team scoring in the playoffs with 12 points in 17 contests.
Chicago has been hit hard by injuries this season. Centre Jonathan Toews returned from a six-game absence Monday night to score the insurance goal in a 4-1 defeat of the Los Angeles Kings.
Marian Hossa continues to recover from right-shoulder surgery, while fellow right-winger Adam Burish suffered torn knee ligaments in September.
The Blackhawks entered Tuesday's action third in the Western Conference with a 9-5-2 record and tied with Columbus atop the Central Division.