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Shoulder surgery to sideline Kesler six months

by Kevin Woodley

Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will likely miss the start of next season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, the team announced on Tuesday.

Kesler is expected to "make a full recovery in six months," according to a release from the Canucks, meaning Kesler could be out of action throughout the month of October.

"After consultation with our team physicians following the playoffs, it was deemed that Ryan would require a procedure on his shoulder," general manager and president Mike Gillis, who signed a contract extension Monday, said in the release. "We expect a full recovery and determined this procedure would best serve the team's and Ryan's long-term goals."

Kesler has said the injury plagued him since January, and he struggled down the stretch, failing to score a goal in his final 17 games, and managing just three assists as the Canucks were knocked out of the playoffs in five games by Los Angeles.

"I'm not going to make excuses," Kesler said two days after the season ended. "I wasn't good enough down the stretch."

It's the second straight season that has ended in surgery for Kesler.

He scored a career-high 41 goals and finished with 73 points and the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward in 2010-2011, but injured his hip in the Western Conference Finals, was largely ineffective in the Cup Final and ended up having surgery to repair a torn hip labrum in July. He missed the first five games of the regular season, and finished with 22 goals and 49 points, his lowest totals in four seasons.

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