Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson will be sidelined for about three months after undergoing neck surgery on Friday.
Johnson last played for the Blackhawks on Oct. 29. The team placed him on long-term injured reserve on Nov. 17.
"After trying to manage his neck pain conservatively for the past couple of weeks, Tyler underwent neck surgery today," Chicago team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement. "The prognosis is good and his anticipated return to play is approximately three months."
According to multiple reports, Johnson underwent the same complex artificial disk replacement surgery that Jack Eichel of the Vegas Golden Knights had last month.
Asked about the nature of Johnson's surgery, Blackhawks interim coach Derek King said, "I'm not a doctor, believe me, but they tried different procedures. It wasn't getting what they want out of them, so this was the next step. And they decided this is what was best for him and his career."
Johnson, 31, has one goal and two assists in eight games this season.
He is in his first campaign with Chicago after spending eight-plus seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Johnson has 162 goals and 202 assists (364 points) in 589 career games.
Also, Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy entered concussion protocol, one day after Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals checked him into the boards during Chicago's 4-3 shootout victory.
King said there is no timetable for Murphy's return.
"Those are tough," King said, referring to concussions. "It's an individual thing. Some guys recover quicker than others, some guys it takes a little longer. It depends on how bad the concussion was."
Murphy has one goal and one assist in 22 games this season, his fifth with Chicago. The 28-year-old has 29 goals and 83 assists (112 points) in 516 games with the Coyotes (2013-17) and Blackhawks.
Chicago visits the New York Rangers on Saturday.
--Field Level Media