May 18, 2012, 10:11 AM EDT
When Ryan Kesler underwent shoulder surgery in early May, the belief was that it would take him about six months to recover. If you are holding out hope that Kesler might be ready for the start of the 2012-13 season despite that, you’ll probably be disappointed.
“I’m not going to come back early,” Kesler said. “With the program I have, the fourth-month period is when you can really start pushing the envelope and even if it goes until December, I’m not coming back until I’m 110 per cent when I know I’m ready and able to play my game.”
Kesler stressed that his surgeon will not release him until he’s regained full mobility and strength.
Ultimately, this is in the Vancouver Canucks’ best interests. They need him to be at his best, and he probably won’t be if he attempts to return from this major surgery before he’s fully recovered.
In Aug. 2011, Kesler had hip surgery and while he was projected to need 12 weeks to recover, he ended up returning in 10. However, the results were less than satisfactory. After his breakout 2010-11 campaign, Kesler ended up with just 22 goals and 49 points.
That’s not to suggest that the only thing standing between Kesler and another monster season was a couple more weeks to on the sidelines – among other things, his shoulder became an increasing issue in the final months of the season – but his insistence on recovering completely before returning does make sense.
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