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Kesler may need career-ending hip surgery for Ducks

Center had operation in 2017, missed final 15 games this season

by Dan Arritt / Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Ryan Kesler could be facing career-ending surgery as the Anaheim Ducks center searches for options regarding his surgically repaired hip.

"We have to find some options for me. Not just for hockey, but for my life," the 34-year-old said Sunday, two days after the Ducks season ended. "Simple things, like putting on socks in the morning, are tough."

Kesler said the pain in his hip returned this season and became worse as the weeks wore on. He last played on March 6, his 1,001st NHL game, and missed Anaheim's final 15 games.

"I was in a good spot, and it's just the grind of the season," said Kessler, who has 573 points (258 goals, 315 assists) in 15 seasons with the Ducks and Vancouver Canucks. "The back-to-back games, and the four games in six nights. That's what broke me down and broke my hip down over the course of the year."

Kesler plans to meet with hip specialists during the next few weeks and then sit down with general manager Bob Murray, his agent and the doctors to discuss his future in the sport.

Kesler said the only surgery available to him is hip replacement.

"It would probably be career-ending," said Kesler, who signed a six-year, $41.25 million contract on July 15, 2015.

Kesler scored at least 20 goals per season from 2013-14 through 2016-17. He played all 82 games in 2016-17, but had hip surgery June 17, 2017, and has combined for 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 104 games in the two seasons since.

Murray said he needs to wait to hear from the specialists before deciding on a course of action for Kesler.

"Let's talk to the doctors," Murray said. "Get all the information in front of us, and we'll sit down when we have all the information."

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