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Canadian Press
1/30/2007 7:42:29 PM


VANCOUVER (CP) - Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault was trying to put the best light on the hip operation performed on centre Ryan Kesler Tuesday.

"The operation went very well," Vigneault told reporters.

"The (recovery) time frame is 12 to 16 weeks. With him being young and a healthy young man, we are shooting for 12."

Even at 12 weeks, Kesler will miss the rest of the NHL regular season but there's a chance he could return in time for the playoffs.

Kesler's surgery was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo., to repair a torn labrum. Had the 22-year-old native of Livonia, Mich., continued to play, he risked damaging the cartilage that lines the socket of the hip, which could have shortened his career.

In 48 games this season Kesler had six goals and 10 assists.

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