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Matt Carkner Injury: Back surgery could end defenseman's season before it began

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The dreaded herniated disc.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We may have seen the last of Matt Carkner in a New York Islanders jersey, before he even got in his first game of 2014-15.

Newsday's Arthur Staple reported that the defenseman, who hasn't played since the first preseason game and has been on IR since the opening rosters were set, had surgery -- the last resort for dealing with back injuries:

Defenseman Matt Carkner, on injured reserve since the season began, had surgery last week to repair a herniated disc in his back and likely is done for the season. Carkner is in the final year of a three-year, $4.5-million contract.

That last bit is why we may have seen the last of him as an Islander. With Travis Hamonic returning from injury tonight in San Jose the Isles finally have their ideal top six blueliners all healthy and in the lineup.

Brian Strait and Matt Donovan are healthy scratches, and several well-regarded prospects are developing in Bridgeport, including Griffin Reinhart (who made the opening roster), Ryan Pulock and Kevin Czuczman.

Carkner has appeared in 75 regular season games with the Islanders, plus 162 more with the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks. He has also appeared in 14 NHL playoff games, including four with the Islanders in 2013.