Atlanta Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen, yet to play this season, will be out an additional six to eight more weeks.
The Thrashers announced on Wednesday that Lehtonen had another round of back surgery surgery last week to remove edges of bone that were applying pressure to nerve roots in his back at two locations.
The 25-year-old had surgery in July to deal with a herniated disc. The netminder missed nearly two months last season after injuring his back in an October 2008 game.
Lehtonen was selected second overall in the 2002 NHL entry draft and has been Atlanta's No. 1 goalie the past three seasons.
The Finn has appeared in 214 career games, posting 14 shutouts with a 2.87 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
Atlanta is off to a solid 6-4-1 start in large part due to the play of Lehtonen's replacement, Ondrej Pavelec. The Kladno, Czech Republic, native has a 2.75 average and 921 save percentage.
Veteran Johan Hedberg is the backup. Hedberg was strong in his first start of the season, allowing just a pair of goals, but was yanked after surrendering four goals in his second start.
Atlanta, fresh off a 5-4 win over Montreal on Tuesday, will host Columbus on Thursday.With files from The Associated Press