VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -Canucks center Ryan Kesler underwent successful hip surgery in Colorado on Tuesday and might return for the playoffs.
He's out for the rest of the regular season, but Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault hopes the forward's recovery time will be on the short end of the range.
"The operation went very well," Vigneault said. "The time frame is 12-to-16 weeks. With him being a healthy young man, we are shooting for 12."
There are about 10 weeks left in the regular season. The Canucks entered play Tuesday with a one-point lead over Calgary atop the Northwest Division.
The 22-year-old Kesler had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. If he continued to play through the injury, he would've risked causing damage to the cartilage that lines the socket of the hip. That could have shortened his career.
In 48 games this season, Kesler had six goals and 10 assists.