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Ales Hemsky of Stars expected to miss 5-6 months

Forward had surgery Monday to repair torn labrum in hip sustained during World Cup of Hockey 2016

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars right wing Ales Hemsky could miss the rest of the regular season after having surgery to repair a torn hip labrum Monday. The injury occured while playing for Team Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. 

"He will be out of the lineup for 5-6 months as he recovers and rehabilitates," general manager Jim Nill told the Stars website.

Hemsky, 33, missed the first four games of the regular season, then played 25 shifts totaling 15:32 of ice time against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 22. He appeared to lose speed as the game went along and went back on injured reserve the next day. 

"He wanted desperately to play but he was struggling," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "It's really similar to what Jamie [Benn] went through [last offseason]. You deal with it and you move on."

Easier said than done for the Stars in a season that's been filled with injuries at forward. 

Mattias Janmark could miss the entire regular season because of a knee injury. Cody Eakin is 2-3 weeks away, according to Ruff, and hasn't practiced since injuring his knee on the first day of training camp. Patrick Sharp hasn't skated since sustaining a concussion against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 20, but he did work out off the ice Sunday. 

Forwards Benn (undisclosed) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) are playing through pain. Center Jason Spezza played against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday after missing two games because of a lower-body injury.

The Stars (3-4-1) have lost two straight (0-2-0) and Hemsky's long-term injury adds to the frustration entering their game at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-SW, NHL.TV). 

"Every guy that comes in and out causes challenges," Spezza said. "[Hemsky] brings a veteran calm and he's good with the puck and he makes plays. That's hard to replace."

Last season, Hemsky was a fixture on a line with Antoine Roussel and Radek Faksa. Spezza could be a candidate to fill that role long term. 

"If I'm going to play wing I've got to learn to play wing," Spezza said. "I have to do a better job of getting the puck more. I don't feel like I get the puck as much as when I'm center, so now I'm trying to watch wingers and how to get the puck more.

"My best stuff is coming from behind the play and trucking through the middle of the ice. So I've got to figure out how to do that as a winger, and there are lots of wingers that do that. If I'm with [Faksa], the onus is on us to figure out how to do that."

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