COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan
Berard will miss the rest of the season because of a back injury
that has sidelined him since Jan. 27.
Doctors hope to decide this week if surgery is needed, team
president and general manager Doug MacLean said Monday.
Berard has described his problem as a bulging disk in his lower
back. He had hoped to correct it through rehabilitation.
Berard, who has 12 goals and 32 points in 44 games, signed a
two-year contract with Columbus in August after playing nine
seasons for Toronto, the New York Rangers, Boston, Chicago and the
New York Islanders.
He was the 1997 NHL rookie of the year with the Islanders and
won the Masterton Trophy in 2004 for best exemplifying the
qualities of hockey.
Berard was severely injured in 2000 when he was hit in the right
eye with a stick. He missed the rest of that season and the
following one and still has reduced vision in the eye.