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1/26/2007 2:35:14 PM

The Vancouver Canucks will be without centre Ryan Kesler for the next three to four months following hip surgery.

Kesler, 22, signed a $1.9-million offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers in the off-season. The Canucks matched and expectations were elevated for the forward entering his third NHL season.

Through 48 games, Kesler has 16 points and a plus-1 rating.

"He has the same type of injury that Brendan [Morrison] had last year," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "Brendan was able to play through it, I was under the impression yesterday that he was able to endure the pain. It's the same type of injury but not at the same area and he has no choice. He needs to have the operation."

The surgery that Kesler had on his hip is the same surgery that Canucks centre Brendan Morrison had last May.

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