Letang to undergo neck surgery, expected to miss 4-6 months
The expected timeline for Letang's recovery is four-to-six months.
The news is a crushing blow to the Penguins, who will now look to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions without their No. 1 defenseman.
"Kris underwent an MRI in February that revealed a herniated disc in his neck," General Manager Jim Rutherford said in a release. "Our neurosurgeons examined him and recommended conservative treatment in an attempt to correct the condition without surgery. Kris had been making progress and was hopeful of returning for the playoffs until about a week ago, when the progress plateaued. He underwent another MRI, and, at that point it was determined that surgery was needed."
Letang has been out of the lineup since Feb. 21 and has been limited to just 41 games this season. The news is just the latest in a series of injuries that have plagued Letang throughout his career. Since he joined the league on a full-time basis during the 2007-08 season, he has missed 190 games.
The 29-year-old will surely be missed as the team heads into the postseason. Letang led all Penguins blue-liners with 15 points in 23 games en route to his second Stanley Cup last season.