Injured Jets defenceman Kulikov forgoes surgery on injured back

Winnipeg-Jets-defenceman-Dmitry-Kulikov,-left,-battles-with-Chicago-Blackhawks-right-wing-Patrick-Kane

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dmitry Kulikov, left, battles with Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) for the puck, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Chicago. (Jeff Haynes/AP)

WINNIPEG — There was an unexpected twist to the Winnipeg Jets‘ injury update after Monday’s practice.

Coach Paul Maurice said defenceman Dmitry Kulikov decided not to have back surgery planned for Monday after meeting with surgeons.

"It’s never clearly one way or the other that he should go (for surgery)," Maurice said. "So when he met for his final consult, again it’s the player’s choice with what he wants to do.

"He’s going to forgo the surgery. There are other remedies with this so he didn’t have surgery today."

The team will have an update on Kulikov in three or four weeks. He was supposed to be out a minimum of eight weeks if he’d had surgery.

The injury happened in Winnipeg’s 3-2 victory over New Jersey on March 8 right as he fired a shot.

Kulikov, 27, injured his back last season when he played for the Buffalo Sabres. He had been hit into an open door in a pre-season game and was limited to 47 games.

Maurice also updated the status of defenceman Jacob Trouba, who collided with Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn in the third period of Winnipeg’s 4-2 victory Sunday.

The pair made head-to-head contact and Trouba fell down. He was wobbly as he was helped off the ice and began undergoing the NHL concussion protocol.

Maurice said Trouba was going to see a specialist to get a diagnosis. The Dallas game had been Trouba’s second after he missed 20 games with an ankle injury.

Winnipeg hosts the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

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