Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler will undergo a micro discectomy procedure on his back on Monday and will be out indefinitely, the club announced Thursday.
General manager Mike Gillis would not commit to a time frame, saying that it would depend on severity of tear and recovery time, but thought it would be anywhere from weeks to months.
Edler missed the Canucks' game Wednesday night against the Nashville Predators because of back spasms.
"After consultation with our physicians it was decided that surgery was the best course of action," president and general manager Mike Gillis said. "The best long term decision for Alex and our hockey club was to have the surgery immediately."
Edler, who normally plays on Vancouver's top pairing with Christian Ehrhoff, leads the defence with eight goals and 32 points in 49 games. He was injured Monday a 7-1 win over Dallas but finished the game, recording two assists to give him six points in his last four contests.
The Canucks have been without defencemen Andrew Alberts (shoulder) and Aaron Rome (knee) since mid-January.
Lee Sweatt, a 25-year-old who played three seasons in Europe before signing with Vancouver last summer, made his NHL debut against the Predators three days after being called up from the AHL, and fellow rookie Chris Tanev, played just his fifth NHL game.