Blackhawks' Tyler Johnson undergoes ADR surgery, out three months

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic stops Chicago Blackhawks centre Tyler Johnson during the third period on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (AP/file)

Chicago Blackhawks centre Tyler Johnson has had artificial disk replacement, the same surgery Jack Eichel underwent, and could be out for as long as three months.

The team announced the move Friday.

Two-time Stanley Cup winner Johnson hasn’t played since Oct. 29 because of COVID-19 and the neck injury.

“After trying to manage his neck pain conservatively for the past couple of weeks, Tyler underwent neck surgery today," Blackhawks team doctor Michael Terry said in a statement through the team. "The prognosis is good and his anticipated return to play is approximately three months.”

Through eight games this season, Johnson had one goal and two assists for three points. Over 597 career games, he has 162 goals and 202 assists for 364 points. Johnson was traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning with a 2023 second-round pick to the Blackhawks for the contract of retired defenceman Brent Seabrook on July 27, 2021.

Eichel had artificial disk replacement surgery on Nov. 12 and was first seen back on the ice on Dec. 2. The surgery on his neck was performed by Dr. Chad Prusmack at Rocky Mountain Spine Clinic in Denver and lasted almost an hour and 15 minutes.

The 25-year-old was obtained by the Vegas Golden Knights in a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres after a stalemate caused by the centre's preference to have the ADR surgery, which had never been performed on an active NHL player.

The Blackhawks also announced that Connor Murphy has been placed in concussion protocol after taking a hit from Alex Ovechkin against the Capitals on Thursday.

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