BOSTON (CBS) — David Backes returned to the Bruins lineup ahead of schedule early this season after being diagnosed with diverticulitis. However, his return will be short-lived.
The Bruins announced on Wednesday that Backes will undergo surgery this week to remove a portion of his colon. The surgery will keep him out for eight weeks.
“The decision to have surgery was made in consultation with team physicians as well as outside specialists in the management of diverticulitis,” said team internist Dr. David Finn. “David’s episode of diverticulitis at the beginning of the season was his second episode in two months and was complicated with an abscess (collection of infection adjacent to the colon) that required drainage. Repeated episodes, like what David experienced, have a very high likelihood of recurrence in the near term, which is why he was advised to have surgery to remove the area of colon causing the problem. It was determined that attempting to delay the surgery until after the season was an unacceptable risk to his health.”
Dr. Finn added that Backes did not expose himself to further risk by playing this season “while waiting for his colon to properly heal.”
Backes, 33, is in his second season with Boston, after 10 years in St. Louis. This season he has registered one point (an assist) in his five games.
The Bruins recalled forward Jordan Szwarz from Providence after making the announcement on Backes.