Stars’ Martin Hanzal set for season-ending back surgery

Dallas Stars center Martin Hanzal (10) of the Czech Republic lays down to stop a shot as goalie Ben Bishop (30) watches in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Dallas. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Dallas Stars centre Martin Hanzal is set for back surgery that will end his injury-plagued season.

General manager Jim Nill said Friday the expected recovery time is six to seven months.

Hanzal, who signed a $14.25 million, three-year contract on the first day of free agency in July, missed almost all of training camp and the preseason with an ankle injury. The 31-year-old Czech then missed 29 games with a variety of injuries, including the back.

Nill said the back injury occurred in late November, and Hanzal had three injections to try to play through the pain. When Hanzal reached a point that he couldn’t play, he opted for spinal fusion surgery.

Hanzal, who last played Feb. 21, had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 38 games. He spent his first 10 years with Arizona before a trade to Minnesota two days before the deadline last season.

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