He injured it in the weight room in early November, came back for a game, missed the next five, saw the dentist, came back for another game against the St. Louis Blues before reinjuring his back on his first shift against the Phoenix Coyotes on Nov. 28.
So he'll rehab it and see how it reacts. Avs Coach Tony Granato is optimistic:
"He's a tremendous athlete. I know he'll do everything he can within his power to get back to being 100 percent. If there's an athlete that can come back from something like this in the minimal amount of time it would be Joe."
One of the most durable players in the NHL during his career is now quite fragile. This is the second consecutive season that Sakic will miss a chunk of time to injury, after missing 38 games last season to hernia surgery -- and he wasn't the same player when he returned in 2007-08, despite scoring six goals in 20 games and 10 points in 10 playoff games.
Despite some bumps in the road this season, the Avs are hanging tough in the Western Conference playoff picture. Their offense has started to come around without Sakic in the lineup; can that continue for the next month and a half?