Missing training camp and the first few weeks of the regular season is particularly tough for a player trying to establish himself in the NHL.

But Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco said off-season back surgery fixed a lingering issue and he believes it's a big step toward helping him reach his potential.

"It is disappointing, but on the other hand I'm happy it's finally over with," Jurco said Thursday, following team physicals at Centre I.C.E. "It's been bothering me for a few years and now it's over with. It's like a fresh start for me and even if it's a little later in the season I'm going to make sure I'm going to be ready and I'm going to feel good in November."

Jurco said he's started rehab after having surgery in early August. He said of his timeframe to return to action: "It's hard to say right now how long it's going to take but hopefully the beginning of November sounds good."

Jurco explained why the surgery was performed when it was.