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Canucks' Booth out for season after surgery

Friday, 03.22.2013 / 8:44 PM NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth underwent surgery Friday and will be lost for the rest of the regular season.

Booth suffered a leg injury six days ago against the Detroit Red Wings and missed the Canucks' next three games, against the Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes.

General manager Mike Gillis told a Vancouver radio station there's a chance Booth could return for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Hopefully, [the surgery] will accelerate the process some measure and then he'll have to wait and rehab like anyone else," Gillis told Team 1040.

The team has not provided details on the exact nature of Booth's injury. Canucks officials could not be reached for comment on Booth's procedure Friday afternoon.

The setback continues a hard-luck season for Booth. The 28-year-old suffered a groin injury during physical testing on the first day of training camp and missed the first 14 games of the regular season. He also sat out one more game in Detroit.

Booth has one goal this season, an empty-netter against the Nashville Predators.

He joins fellow Michigan native Ryan Kesler on the Canucks' injured list.

Kesler missed the start of the season while recovering from shoulder and wrist surgery, and fractured a bone in his foot blocking a shot in his first game back. He played six more games before a CT scan revealed the break, and he is wearing a walking boot and using crutches almost a month later.

Gillis didn't have a definitive timeline for his return of the Canucks' Selke Trophy-winning center, but said he could resume skating in two weeks.

"They are going to do another CT scan," Gillis said. "They are being very cautious so he doesn't have any setbacks. He's been pain free for some time and working really hard. Even though he's on crutches, he's still in the gym. Once they get comfortable that bone is complete healed it won't take him long to get back in the lineup, but until that happens he's going to stay non-weight bearing."

Kesler, who anchors the second line, kills penalties and provides a net-front presence on a power play that has slipped to 30th in the NHL, had a goal and four assists in seven games.

The Canucks also are without Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian, each with a back injury, and were forced to use defenseman Keith Ballard as a forward during a 2-1 road win Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes. Gillis told the Team 1040 he isn't trying to acquire a wing, but is still trying to find another center after shutting down Manny Malhotra for the season because of an eye injury.

"We've been talking to multiple teams about acquiring a center all season long, but as you guys have noticed there are virtually no trades happening," Gillis said, citing the number of teams still in the playoff race as a deterrent to trades and reason for numerous waiver claims. "We're going to try to get some things done, but there's a chance you may not be able to based on what's happening."

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