Sports Outside the Beltway

Edmonton Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to have back surgery

He last played in a Oilers game on November 16th. From AP-

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and is expected to be out 12 weeks.Khabibulin

The team said Wednesday that he’ll have the operation Thursday in Los Angeles.

The Oilers didn’t provide a timeline for his return, saying only that he’s “out indefinitely,” but Khabibulin’s agent, Jay Grossman, said the goalie will need 12 weeks to recover from surgery.

That leaves him a narrow window to try and return during the regular season.

I’d be greatly surprised if Khabibulin plays again in the 2009-10 NHL season. The Oilers at this moment are well entrenched in the Western Conference’s cellar and have the 2nd worst record in the whole league. Edmonton will not be making the playoffs, so it would be wiser to rest the player nicknamed ‘The Bulin wall’ till the 2010-11 season begins.

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