Vancouver Canucks forward Derek Dorsett is ending his hockey career due to spinal issues.
The team says doctors have recommended he not return to the ice because of “long-term, significant health risks” associated with a cervical disc herniation.
Dorsett was shut down 14 games into the 2016-17 season when the numbness he often felt after taking or receiving a hit became progressively worse.
The 30-year-old from Kindersley, Sask., underwent spinal surgery a year ago and was cleared to play this season.
But he recently began experiencing back and neck stiffness.
Dorsett’s surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins, says tests revealed that he has sustained a “cervical disc herniation adjacent and separate to his previous fusion.”
Watkins and team doctors advised Dorsett not to resume his hockey career.
Dorsett says he is ”devastated by the news” but that there is no “grey area.”
In 515 NHL games, Dorsett collected 51 goals and 76 assists.
“What I can say for certain right now is that I left it all out on the ice. I gave my heart and soul to the teams I played for and never backed down from a challenge, including this one." – Dorsett (@Twigy15) pic.twitter.com/10OmlCFotb
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 30, 2017
The Canadian Press