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Lemieux undergoes back surgery

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux, the NHL's leading scorer and Most Valuable Player last season, underwent back surgery Wednesday at Shadyside Hospital.

The Penguins said the surgery went very well and was performed by neurosurgeon and team physician Dr. Peter Sheptak.

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Lemieux was reported to be resting comfortably.

The 35-minute procedure was an exploration of Lemieux's lumbar incision and repair of a muscle hernia that occurred through weakened fascia lumbar. It was not necessary to approach the disc area during the procedure.

Lemieux underwent back surgery in July 1990 for a herniated disc.

The Penguins say Lemieux will spend the next two weeks with limited physical activity.

Lemieux has missed a number of games each season with back problems since the 1990 surgery. He won the scoring championship last season with 60 goals and 91 assists in only 60 games.

Lemieux missed part of last season with Hodgkin's disease, a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. He resumed play after undergoing radiation treatments.

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