Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel's herniated disk in his neck will cause him to miss the remainder of the season, the team announced on Wednesday. The Sabres expect the captain to be fit and ready to play for the 2021-22 season.

Eichel last suited up for the bottom-dwelling Sabres on March 7 in a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders. The injury that kept him out of a game against the Flyers two days later was expected to only require 7-10 days of recovery, but turned out to be much worse.

"Very, very difficult," Sabres coach Don Granato said, per NHL.com. "Knowing as a person, his commitment, his character, and he's playing through it. And it's not something you want exposed, obviously, because it's such a competitive environment, so that's information you don't want the opponents to have, obviously, for his safety. ... It's a bummer. It is.

"You just hope for him to feel better every day and improve every day, and that's in essence what you think of and how you think about it."

Granato then added that he wasn't sure if Eichel would require surgery for the injury.

The 24 year old had racked up 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) through 21 games this season. His goal scoring mark was the fewest he'd put together in his career so far. He was coming off of a career year last season with a 36-goal campaign. But falling short of expectations has been a theme for the Sabres this season. The team experienced an 18-game losing streak that went from Feb. 23 until March 29. They are currently last in the league with 27 points and a 10-25-7 record.