OTTAWA (AP) — Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza said having back surgery for a herniated disk was the only way he was going to feel better.
"It was really bad," he said. "It got to the point where there was no way I was going to be able to play, so it makes it frustrating.
"But there wasn't really an option once we got down to it."
The 29-year-old says that once the pain started he struggled to find any relief, and things finally culminated in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 27.
"I started to feel it a little bit toward the end of training camp and the start of the season and then it got out of control probably after the second game of the season," Spezza said.
"It got worse and worse and halfway through the Pittsburgh game I lost strength in my leg and got real bad numbness and halfway through the game I pretty much knew I'd have to see someone."