The Devils still believe that Martin Brodeur’s back injury is not serious, but they’re playing it safe with the future Hall of Famer.

The Devils placed their No. 1 goaltender on injured reserve Tuesday. retroactive to Sunday’s game against Winnipeg, during which he sat on the bench as the backup.

Players placed on injured reserve must sit out at least seven days, so Brodeur is not eligible to play before Monday’s game in Toronto.

Brodeur missed practice Tuesday so he could be examined by a doctor after having tests done on his back Monday. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said the doctor doesn’t think the back injury is anything that will keep him out for an extended period, but Brodeur won’t be ready to play in Winnipeg on Thursday night, so it didn’t make sense for him to fly there with the team today.

“He’s still sore and it’s kind of foolish to put him on a plane with a back situation,” Lamoriello said. “He won’t play in Winnipeg, so let’s give him the time to get right.”

Backup Johan Hedberg will make his third consecutive start Thursday in Brodeur’s place. Rookie Keith Kinkaid, 23, was called up from Albany (AHL) on Tuesday to serve as the backup for at least the first two games of the three-game trip, which includes stops in Buffalo on Saturday and Toronto on Monday.

Brodeur said he “tweaked” his back in practice and played in “a few games” after that before it tightened up on him in pre-game warm-ups Sunday, forcing him to miss a scheduled start.

This is the fourth injury over the last three seasons that has caused Brodeur, the NHL’s all-time leader in wins (664) and shutouts (120), to miss time. In 2010-11, he sat out 10 games over two stints with a bruised right elbow, and missed another four games with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Last season, he missed six games with a right shoulder injury.

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