Senators' Erik Karlsson could miss start of next season after foot surgery

Defenseman Erik Karlsson was arguably among the biggest reasons the Ottawa Senators put up a fight against the eventual repeat Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals, but he might not be ready to take the ice when the Sens return in 2017-18.

As relayed by NHL.com, Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion revealed Thursday that Karlsson had surgery for a foot injury sustained in the postseason and figures to be rehabilitating until October.

"Erik underwent surgery earlier today in Charlotte, North Carolina, to repair torn tendons in his left foot," Dorion told the Senators website. "The tears, which occurred during this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, were found during an MRI as part of an extensive medical evaluation following the season. The recovery from this surgery is expected to take approximately four months. This timeline leaves us hopeful that Erik will be fully recovered and healthy to start the 2017-18 regular season."

From a Senators perspective, losing Karlsson for the bulk of the offseason is obviously not a plus. Unless the recovery stalls or drags deeper into the season, however, Ottawa figures to have the two-time Norris Trophy winner more than ready for the most important stretches of next season. If his own accounts are correct, in fact, Karlsson thrived for well over a month of action with hairline fractures -- and, eventually, muscle damage in his ankle -- toward the end of the team's 2016-17 season and playoff run.

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