Belfour could miss four weeks

OTTAWA -- Ed Belfour might require back surgery, a decision that could keep the Toronto Maple Leafs' goalie sidelined for at least four weeks.

Belfour has a bulging disc and his condition has worsened since
he pulled out of Canada's World Cup team on Aug. 9.

"I think it's something new that's developed," Maple Leafs
coach Pat Quinn said.

He said that it wasn't a certainty at this point whether the
39-year-old Belfour would go ahead with surgery but that a decision
would have to be made soon.

Quinn said the recovery time probably would be four to six
weeks. The Leafs would begin the season without Belfour unless
labor problems delay the start.

The Leafs signed Belfour to a new contract June 30 that will pay
him at least $14 million over the next two seasons, and up to $18
million in total if the third year of his deal is activated.