Jason Spezza is expected to go under the knife.

Sources say the Senators centre will likely elect to have surgery to repair a back injury and could be out long-term. However, it's not immediately known if that will cost him the whole season.

Senators GM Bryan Murray has called an 11 a.m. news conference to outline the procedure.

The possibility of the surgery was raised Tuesday when Spezza visited a doctor in Toronto, but the Senators wanted to get a second opinion to make sure that was the necessary route.

It is not known how long he'll be out but many believe the procedure is not considered serious in nature. There's still a chance he could be back for the post-season.

Coach Paul MacLean was tight-lipped when asked about Spezza before the club hosted the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday. He admitted the possibility of the Senators being without their top centre for awhile hadn't been ruled out.

The Senators are calling it an "upper body" injury but it's believed he was being sent for more tests in Ottawa.

"He's still being evaluated. I don't know yet," said MacLean.

It's a certainty Spezza won't be going on the road with the Senators when they face the Carolina Hurricanes Friday in Raleigh and then travel to Montreal for a rematch Sunday afternoon at the Bell Centre at 2 p.m.

The Sun confirmed Spezza, who has had back problems before, was in Toronto getting evaluated by doctors. He was spotted at the Ottawa airport Tuesday night catching a flight but returned to the city Wednesday morning.