Wings’ Green to undergo neck surgery, ending season

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings will be without defenseman Mike Green for the remainder of the season.

The team announced Green will have cervical spine surgery, causing doubt about his future.

He re-aggravated the injury during practice on March 21 at Little Caesars Arena.

The procedure is scheduled for April 5 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and will be performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa.

A minimum two months of recovery time is expected.

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Green missed seven games in late February — leading up to and after the NHL trade deadline — which made him unavailable to be dealt. Green has been dealing with the issue for approximately a year.

“He’s played through it,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We knew at some point this was inevitable. We were hoping he’d get through it. “If he took the wrong hit, it created the symptoms. He was applying in a game in Tampa (in March) before the trade deadline and took a wrong hit and it created the symptoms.

“It’s been a continual process. Mike has tried like crazy to play. He’s a complete warrior, an unreal pro. Unfortunately, it got to a point where he couldn’t do it anymore.”

There were several teams, including Toronto, Tampa Bay and Washington, which were interested but backed off once Green was unavailable to play and there was no idea when he’d able to return.

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But Green returned March 2 and has played 10 games since, with two goals and two assists.

Green finished this season with 33 points (8 goals, 25 assists) in 66 games, and a minus-14 rating.

The surgery is basically a neck surgery that involves removing a damaged disk to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure.

Green, 32, is finishing a three-year contract with the Red Wings that was worth $18 million ($6 million salary cap hit).

Green can be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and the injury could scare some teams off once more.