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Kesler unlikely to play for Ducks next season after surgery on right hip

Procedure leaves open possibility of return to NHL after lengthy recovery

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Ryan Kesler is unlikely to play for the Anaheim Ducks next season after having surgery May 9 to resurface his right hip, though he could resume his NHL career at some point.

"At this point Ryan needs to think about his life and family," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said Monday. "The pain he felt was significant, and we agree with his decision to have this surgery. While it's unlikely he will play in 2019-20, we will support any decision he makes about his future playing career. He deserves the utmost respect, which he will receive from the entire Ducks organization as he contemplates his future."

The 34-year-old center had eight points (five goals, three assists) in 60 games this season. He last played March 6, his 1,001st NHL game, and missed Anaheim's final 14 games.

Hip resurfacing is a bone-preserving hip replacement that can relieve pain and increase function in normal activities of daily living. The Ducks said the procedure leaves open the possibility that Kesler could resume his NHL career after a lengthy recovery.

"At this point in my career, this surgery was the best option for my quality of life," said Kesler, who signed a six-year contract on July 15, 2015. "The pain I was suffering has been greatly reduced since the procedure, and I'm grateful for that. While my playing future is unknown, I'm in a good place.

"I'm extremely appreciative of everyone who has helped me through the process. I look forward to spending more time with my family and doing everyday activities without pain."

Kesler has 573 points (258 goals, 315 assists) in 15 NHL seasons with the Ducks and Vancouver Canucks. He played all 82 games in 2016-17, but had hip surgery June 17, 2017, and has 22 points (13 goals, nine assists) in 104 games in the two seasons since.

He said April 7, two days after Anaheim's season ended, that he would search for options regarding the condition of his right hip, adding that the pain grew worse as the season wore on.

"The back-to-back games, and the four games in six nights," Kesler said. "That's what broke me down and broke my hip down over the course of the year.

"We have to find some options for me. Not just for hockey, but for my life. Simple things, like putting on socks in the morning, are tough."

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