Panthers staying 'conservative,' will keep Bertuzzi out

Florida Panthers winger Todd Bertuzzi could miss another 4-8 weeks while recovering from surgery on his injured back, coach Jacques Martin said.

Bertuzzi hasn't played since Oct. 18 and had the surgery on Nov. 2. He was originally expected to miss 6-8 weeks from the time of the operation and was cleared to resume light skating Wednesday, but the Panthers are choosing to play it safe.

"I would think on a conservative side, where he's at with the rehab, it's anywhere between four to eight [weeks],'' Martin said, according to the Miami Herald. "He feels better. Now it's a matter of doing more work in the gym, getting stronger, working on really strengthening the muscles."

Bertuzzi is scheduled for a follow-up exam Tuesday with Dr. Guillermo Pasarin, the Herald said. Pasarin performed the initial operation to shave a bulging disc in Bertuzzi's back and relieve pressure.

Bertuzzi is in his first season with Florida and 10th overall. He has 224 goals and 536 career points.