The leader in LSU's open quarterback competition underwent a back procedure Monday.

Danny Etling had a "minor" procedure on his back, coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement to The Advocate.

"Danny had a minor back procedure this morning and everything went all right," Orgeron said. 

Etling has been battling back pain for several months, and the surgery is expected to relieve the pain. It's not expected to be a long recovery.

Etling, a senior from Indiana, started 10 games last season and is poised to be the Tigers' starter again, though coaches are keeping the battle open through preseason camp. Etling took most of the first-string snaps during spring practice, but he struggled during LSU's spring game Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. 

He finished 4-for-11 for 53 yards passing.

"He didn’t play good. Bottom line," Orgeron said in Saturday's postgame news conference. "He didn’t have a good night. He’s had some good days, but today wasn’t one of his better nights. I don’t know if any of the quarterbacks played like the way we want them to play."

It's unclear how much the back issue hampered Etling's play during last season or Saturday night. Etling took several significant shots last season, including a brutal collision against Ole Miss in the Tigers' seventh game of the season — a hit he said might be hardest he's taken in a college football game.

It is not clear when the back injury flared up or started. 

Etling was present for the short portions of each spring practice that reporters were allowed to watch. He played most of the first half of the spring game before officials moved the game to the indoor facility because of lightning. 

There, Justin McMillan, a third-year sophomore and the presumed backup to Etling, replaced him with the starting offense. Etling did not see the field again.

Etling performed "awesome" during most of the spring, Orgeron said, before his outing in the spring game. 

Physically, Etling seemed fine in Saturday's game. At one point, during a scramble, Etling raced off the field, his momentum taking him into the east bench area at Tiger Stadium. He leaped over several objects, including the team bench. He remained in the game. 

Etling brought stability to LSU's quarterback situation last season, taking over for Brandon Harris during the Tigers' second game. He completed 59 percent of his passes last season, the highest mark from an LSU starting quarterback since Zach Mettenberger in 2013.

Etling averaged 193 yards per game, throwing 11 touchdown passes and five interceptions.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.