Hurricanes' Staal has MCL sprain

Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has been diagnosed with a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, the team announced Saturday.

The ligament doesn't need to be surgically repaired, but Staal will require three months to recover. The Hurricanes do expect the 28-year-old center to be ready for the start of the 2013-14 season.

Staal suffered the injury while playing for Canada at the World Hockey Championship in Stockholm. He absorbed a knee-on-knee hit from defenseman Alexander Edler in the first period of Thursday's shootout loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Edler received a five-minute major, along with a game misconduct, and was subsequently suspended for the rest of the tournament.

Staal registered 18 goals and 35 assists while playing all 48 games for the Hurricanes during the lockout-shortened campaign.