Spezza's work level upgraded but not ready to return Staff

5/8/2013 3:37:44 PM

While the Ottawa Senators are on the verge of closing out their first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens, the club's top centre continues to make progress on his health.

According to head coach Paul MacLean, Jason Spezza's work level has been upgraded. And while that's welcome news, he isn't close to skating with the team.

Spezza is in the next stage of his rehabilitation, according to MacLean. The final stage is having the team's top centre actually coming out to practice and being a full participant.

Spezza hasn't played since Jan. 27 due to a back injury that required surgery.

The Senators lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 with Game 5 Thursday night from the Bell Centre in Montreal.