Clarkson's back will likely never allow him to play hockey again, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

It's been over 11 months since he saw any game action, and a few weeks ago his back was so stiff he couldn't even get out of bed in the morning. Clarkson is dealing with three degenerative discs in his spine, and the only surgical remedy -- having his spine fused -- would completely end any possibility of a comeback. His contract runs through the 2019-20 season but is mostly covered by insurance, so expect the 32-year-old to essentially remain a permanent resident on the Blue Jackets' long-term injury list, barring a miraculous recovery.

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