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Canucks' Kesler to miss start of season after hip surgery

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Vancouver Canucks All-Star center Ryan Kesler could miss the first three weeks of the National Hockey League season after undergoing hip surgery, the team said on Tuesday.

The Selke Trophy winner as the league's best defensive forward had successful hip labral surgery and is expected to make a full recovery in 10-12 weeks, the team said.

"After consultation with our team physicians following the playoffs, it was deemed that Ryan would require a procedure on his hip," Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis said in a statement.

"We expect a full recovery and determined this procedure would best serve both Ryan and the team's long term goals."

Kesler scored a career-high 41 goals and had 73 points in 82 games last season for a Canucks team that finished with the league's top record in the regular season.

He added seven goals and 12 assists in 25 playoff games for a Vancouver team that lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals.

The Canucks open their regular season October 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. If Kesler needs a full 12 weeks to recover he could return for the team's ninth game of the season against Edmonton on October 25.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by)