From the CP (via Canada East Online):
Vancouver Canuck defenceman Willie Mitchell is sidelined with a fractured vertebra in his back.
Mitchell said Tuesday he won’t accompany the NHL team when it leaves Wednesday on a four-game road trip.
Mitchell, who has already missed three games, said he hurt his back after being checked during a game against Calgary after Christmas. He played nine games before the pain became too great.
Update 2:45pm PT—CBC:
There is no specific recovery time for this type of injury — a stress fracture to the L2 vertebra in Mitchell’s back — but Vigneault said it could affect him for up to five weeks. Vigneault also said Mitchell could play through the injury without aggravating it, though the pain might be too much.
“All the doctors that checked him, have all came to the same conclusion, with this type of stress fracture, if he can endure the pain, there is no way he can aggravate it,” the coach said. “It shouldn’t be that much longer, knowing Willie Mitchell, in my mind anyways.”