Boston Bruins forward David Backes will undergo surgery on his colon Thursday and will miss about eight weeks of action.
The 33-year-old was diagnosed with diverticulitis prior to the start of the season and didn’t debut until October 19. He’s skated in five games with the Bruins thus far, posting one assist.
Backes will have surgery to remove part of his colon. This is designed to prevent continual episodes of diverticulitis, which can lead to serious health concerns.
“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,” said team internist Dr. David Finn. “It was determined that attempting to delay the surgery until after the season was an unacceptable risk to his health.
“David was cleared to play in the team’s games on October 19 while waiting for his colon to properly heal from the most recent episode of diverticulitis which sidelined him for the first five games of the 2017-2018 season. David was at no additional risk while playing during this period, and he is having the surgery as soon as the medical team felt comfortable moving forward with the operation.”
Boston is dealing with a range of injuries right now, with Noel Acciari, Ryan Spooner, Adam McQuaid, and David Krejci among those on the shelf.
The Bruins called up Jason Szwarz, the leading scorer in Providence, to fill in. Goalie Zane McIntyre was also called up after goalie Anton Khudobin suffered a minor injury at Sunday’s practice.
Backes was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He spent most of his career in St. Louis, with his best season a 62-point campaign in 2010-2011.
Backes signed with the Bruins as a free agent in July of 2016. He’d spent 10 years with the Blues and was their captain for five years before signing a five-year contract with Boston. He has a no-move clause on his current contract that morphs into a modified no-trade clause for the final two years of the deal.