After practice Tuesday, Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville informed the media that center Dave Bolland minimally invasive surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. While a timetable for his return has not been determined, a spokesman for the team’s medical staff estimated between 12 and 16 weeks.
This news comes the day after a triumphant return from Jonathan Toews on Monday night in the Hawks’ 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Toews had been out since October 21 with a concussion. Ben Eager also returned after missing most of the season, also with a concussion.
Bolland’s back has been an issue for him for some time. It reportedly bothered him during the playoffs last year, and continued to be an issue all summer. He did not skate at all during the preseason, and his minutes have been limited at times because of the injury. He has missed the last two games already.
In Bolland’s absence, Kris Versteeg has been spending some time in the circle. Andrew Ebbett was primarily a center in his time with the Anaheim Ducks, and could fill the role as well. Colin Fraser and John Madden have done a good job in faceoffs so far this year, and Madden scored the Hawks first goal Monday.
Marian Hossa is expected to return in late November.