The Dallas Stars are down another key player.
Center Jamie Benn had an appendectomy Sunday and is expected to be out until after the All-Star break. Benn, who earned an All-Star berth for the first time in 2012, will probably be unable to join the festivities Jan. 29 in Ottawa.
"He'll be out for a little while, probably through the All-Star break," Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. "It will be probably be ten days to two weeks."
Benn, the team's leading scorer with 42 points (13 goals, 29 assists), joins Mike Ribeiro on the injured list. Ribeiro is expected to be out until after the break with a knee injury.
This leaves the Stars without their top two centers for the five games leading up to the break.
"It's a little adversity," Nieuwendyk said. "It will make us stronger in the end."
Through Sunday's games, the Stars were in 10th place in the Western Conference with 49 points, two points out of playoff position.
The Stars have recalled left wing Francis Wathier and he will give the Stars 12 healthy forwards for Monday's game. Nieuwendyk said there could be other call-ups, but they'll take that game by game.
Mark Stepneski covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com.