Walk a mile in Jason Spezza's shoes

Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza in action against the Pittsburgh Penguins' during NHL Eastern...

Ottawa Senators' Jason Spezza in action against the Pittsburgh Penguins' during NHL Eastern Conference Semifinal playoff hockey action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Sunday May 19,2013. Errol McGihon/The Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:52 PM ET

Those who have never had back surgery and don’t make a living bent at the waist — moving as fast as they can, battling for pucks, and twisting and turning in three directions at the same time — were questioning Jason Spezza’s toughness and courage.

Why wasn’t he in the lineup weeks after he was expected to return? Exactly how bad was the setback? Was an outside influence advising him to wait until next year? Was there another issue (management shot down the rumour he had a knee scoped in April) nobody knew about? Was it an age thing that set apart the 29-year-old from comeback kids Jared Cowen and Erik Karlsson?

What was the real reason the Senators were starting the playoffs without their much-needed No. 1 centre?


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