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Canucks F Kesler returns to lineup

Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler will be back in the lineup when the club hosts the Dallas Stars on Friday.

According to The Province, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault plans to use the 28-year-old in a limited role for his season debut.

Kesler endured a longer-than-usual rehab after having successful shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in May, then had a separate procedure on his wrist in June.

His return to action was accelerated by the departure of center Manny Malhotra, who was placed on injured reserve by Vancouver on Thursday after lingering issues stemming from an eye injury suffered almost two years ago prevented him from playing at full capacity.

Kesler had 22 goals and 27 assists in 77 games last season. He added three assists in five playoff contests for the Canucks, who were upset in the first round by the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings.