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Ryan Callahan expected to return in November: report

Lightning forward on schedule recovering from offseason hip surgery @NHLdotcom

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan's recovery from hip surgery is on schedule and he's expected to make his 2016-17 debut in mid-November, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

Callahan, 31, had 10 goals and 18 assists in 73 regular-season games and four points in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season, helping the Lightning reach the Eastern Conference Final. He had the surgery on June. 21.

Callahan said he hopes to begin skating next week when he reports to the Lightning practice facility in Brandon, Fla., for informal workouts. Training camp is scheduled to open Sept. 22.

"It's such a long estimated timetable that there's obviously variation in there," Callahan said. "Some guys come back a little bit earlier than that, some guys it's five months. If it's before then, then great.

"I've never had hip issues before that, it was a sudden thing. It came out of nowhere and progressively got worse. … Everyone plays through injuries. I wasn't 100 percent, it is what it is."

Video: PIT@TBL, Gm4: Callahan tallies in the first minute

Callahan was supposed to represent Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, which will be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Callahan was replaced by New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri.

"It's really tough," Callahan said of missing the tournament. "It's definitely disappointing that I'm going to miss that. Anytime you get to represent your country, it's something special. And to be in the World Cup is something I've never experienced before."

Callahan said he's pleased with the Lightning's offseason, which was highlighted by the re-signing of captain Steven Stamkos. Tampa Bay also extended defenseman Victor Hedman. Each signed an eight-year contract.

An alternate captain for the Lightning, Callahan said he received a phone call from Stamkos that he was staying put before he officially signed on June 29.

Video: TBL@NYI, Gm3: Callahan tips home power-play goal

"I don't think I was really surprised," Callahan said. "I was hopeful that he would sign back, he's such a huge part of it, being the captain, one of the best players in the League. You never really know which way those things are going to go. I knew he wanted to be in Tampa. At the end of the day, we're a much better team with [Stamkos] on it, there's no question.

"I think him coming back really shows too how committed everyone is to winning, how bad the team wants it and how close we feel we are. We're right there."

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