David Backes of the Bruins will have surgery on Thursday to remove a portion of his colon to relieve diverticulitis, the team announced Wednesday.
Backes, from Spring Lake Park and a former Minnesota State standout, is in his second season in Boston after 10 seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
A Bruins team doctor, David Finn, issued this statement on the 33-year-old Backes' condition.
"David Backes will undergo surgery on Thursday, November 2 to remove a portion of his colon. The expected recovery time is approximately 8 weeks. The decision to have surgery was made in consultation with team physicians as well as outside specialists in the management of diverticulitis. David's episode of diverticulitis at the beginning of the season was his second episode in two months and was complicated with an abscess (collection of infection adjacent to the colon) that required drainage. Repeated episodes, like what David experienced, have a very high likelihood of recurrence in the near term, which is why he was advised to have surgery to remove the area of colon causing the problem. It was determined that attempting to delay the surgery until after the season was an unacceptable risk to his health.
"David was cleared to play in the team's games on October 19 while waiting for his colon to properly heal from the most recent episode of diverticulitis which sidelined him for the first five games of the 2017-18 season. David was at no additional risk while playing during this period, and he is having the surgery as soon as the medical team felt comfortable moving forward with the operation."