Report: Tyler Johnson gets same repair as Eichel

NHL

Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson on Friday became the second NHL player to undergo an unusual neck surgery.

Johnson’s operation was the same artificial disk replacement surgery that Jack Eichel underwent last month, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce what kind of operation Johnson had.

The 31-year-old Johnson will be sidelined for approximately three months, according to team physician Michael Terry.

Johnson has one goal and two assists in eight games in his first season with Chicago after he was acquired in a July trade with Tampa Bay. Terry said Johnson had been trying to manage his neck pain conservatively for the past couple of weeks.

The Blackhawks also announced that defenseman Connor Murphy had entered the concussion protocol and forward Jujhar Khaira was being held out of practice with an illness that isn’t related to COVID-19.

Murphy left Thursday night’s 4-3 shootout win over Washington after absorbing a big hit by Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

The Blackhawks visit the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

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