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Flames won’t put timetable on Backlund (abdominal surgery) return

Calgary Flames v Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 03: of the Chicago Blackhawks of the Calgary Flames at the United Center on November 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Flames defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime.(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jonathan Daniel

Coming off the best year of his career, Mikael Backlund was hoping to carry over that success into this season.

A nagging abdominal issue has all but derailed those plans, however, and on Wednesday Backlund underwent surgery to try and correct this issue -- one that’s limited him to just 11 of the Flames’ 24 games this season.

More, from the Calgary Sun:

“It got to the point it wasn’t getting any better,” GM Brad Treliving said in the first intermission of the team’s game against the San Jose Sharks. “They put in a little mesh plate. A lot of times it’s done with a sports hernia, there was no real sign of it. There’s a weakening of the abdominal wall, and they felt this was the next best step.”

What it means, though, remains to be seen for the 25-year-old.

“It was done in a way they feel potentially — I don’t want to be putting time frames — he could be skating in a couple of weeks,” Treliving said. “But with these things, you just don’t know. It’s been a nagging issue, really all year.”

The Backlund situation makes Calgary’s surprise start even more impressive. He was a vital contributor last season, scoring a career-high 18 goals and 39 points, and filled one of the top-two center spots by averaging over 18 minutes a night while leading the team in faceoffs taken.

That the Flames -- a team that didn’t have much depth at center to begin with -- currently sit three points back of Western Conference-leading Anaheim says a lot about their ability and “next man up” mentality.