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Ferland could return in summer if NHL season resumes, Canucks GM says

Leivo less certain to play, still recovering from fractured kneecap Dec. 19

by Kevin Woodley / Independent Correspondent

Leivo buries Ferland's feed

FLA@VAN: Leivo finishes Ferland's nice pass

Micheal Ferland sends a pretty cross-ice feed to Josh Leivo, who quickly snaps a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky to extend the lead to 5-1

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Micheal Ferland could return for the Vancouver Canucks in the summer if the NHL season resumes, general manager Jim Benning said.

Ferland was expected to miss the rest of the season after recurring concussion symptoms limited the forward to 14 games this season. Ferland last played in the NHL on Dec. 10, and an earlier return ended while playing his first game on a conditioning assignment with Utica in the American Hockey League on Feb. 14 when he left after the first period with concussion-like symptoms.

"I talked to Micheal Ferland last week and he's doing well," Benning said Wednesday. "He's training [at his offseason home in Manitoba], and if we were to start here later on this summer, I think he's going to be at 100 percent and going to be able to come back and play." 

Ferland, who is in the first season of a four-year contract with an average annual value of $3.5 million, has five points (one goal, four assists) this season.

Benning was less certain about the return for forward Josh Leivo, who fractured his kneecap Dec. 19 against the Vegas Golden Knights and was expected to miss 2-3 months. Leivo has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 36 games this season.

"That was a tough injury," Benning said. "He's doing his rehab [in Vancouver] and can continue to do that, and we'll just see where he's at."

Goalie Jacob Markstrom and defenseman Christopher Tanev have already been cleared to play. 

Markstrom had knee surgery Feb. 26 but had already resumed skating before the NHL paused the season March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Tanev sustained a lower-body injury March 10 during the final game before the season was paused and was considered week to week. 

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