Kesler to return to lineup Friday
Feb 14, 2013 / 7:08 pm
Ryan Kesler no longer has to worry about wearing a grey jersey in practice.
After having discarded the grey duds that signal an injured player, he is slated to put on a regular Canucks jersey Friday as Vancouver (8-2-2) hosts the Dallas Stars (7-6-1).
Barring an unexpected change, Kesler will play for the first time since the opening round of last spring's playoffs. He spent the off-season and NHL lockout recuperating from shoulder and wrist injuries that bothered him last season and required surgery.
"My jersey colour changed, and I felt good out there," said Kesler after a practice Thursday.
Kesler wore a blue jersey after instead of the grey one that had warned players not to hit him. The discarding of the grey jersey signalled that he has been cleared for contact. Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed he was also medically cleared to play a game.
"There's all indication that he's ready to go," said Vigneault.
The Canucks freed up a roster spot for Kesler by placing Manny Malhotra on injured reserve Thursday for the balance of the regular season and playoffs. General manager Mike Gillis said Malhotra has not adapted sufficiently since suffering a career-threatening eye injury in March 2011, and therefore is at risk of a serious injury.
Kesler's hiatus was longer than expected. Vigneault noted he was expected to be out five months, but the centre has been sidelined upwards of 10 months.
The coach said Kesler looked really good while playing a regular shift and on a power-play unit in practice. Kesler has also been practising at a full-pace after keeping his conditioning level extremely high during his recovery.
But Vigneault plans to keep Kesler's ice time at a "reasonable" level. Before his injury he was the most-used forward.
Don't expect that to be the case against Dallas, Vigneault warned.
"We'll feel the game out (Friday), see how he's doing," said Vigneault.
Read more Sports News
- Kelowna Rockets
- West Kelowna Warriors
- Penticton Vees
- Vernon Vipers
- Kelowna Chiefs
- Penticton Lakers
- Okanagan College Coyotes
- Kelowna Minor Hockey
- Westside Minor Hockey
- Penticton Minor Hockey
- Vernon Minor Hockey
- Winfield Minor Hockey
- Pepsi Premier Hockey League
- Kelowna Ball Hockey
- Okanagan Ball Hockey
- Penticton Ball Hockey
- Sunplex Ball Hockey
- Field Hockey Okanagan
- Okanagan Rockets
- Lake Country Old-Timers Hockey Association
- Orchard City Hockey League
- Kelowna Heat Spring Hockey
- Okanagan All Stars Hockey Club
- Knights of West Kelowna
- BCHL | KIJHL | WHL | NHL
- Kelowna Women's Soccer
- Kelowna Men's Soccer
- Okanagan Challenge
- Kelowna United FC
- Central Okanagan Youth
- Kelowna Youth Soccer
- Westside Youth Soccer
- Rutland Youth Soccer
- Lake Country Youth Soccer
- Penticton Soccer Club
- South Okanagan Similkameen Youth Soccer
- Thompson Okanagan Football Club
- Sunplex Futsal League
- Pepsi Premier Soccer League
- CSA | FIFA | MLS
- Kelowna AquaJets
- Liquid Lightning Swim Club
- Ogopogo Summer Swim Club
- Okanagan Masters Swim Club
- Kelowna Masters Swim Club
- Kelowna Badminton Club
- The Penticton Yacht & Tennis
- OK Mission Tennis
- Lakeview Heights Tennis
- Vernon Tennis Association
- Squash BC Okanagan League
- ESPN Tennis
Does your local team have a website?
Email us to add your community sports link.
Cover your team's games! Write up a story and email us [email protected] for publication here.
- Canada officially entered in Olympic figure skating team event
- Jeff Skinner, Hall, Luongo named NHL's 3 stars
- Penguins' James Neal suspended 5 games for Marchand hit
- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has torn ACL
- Ballon d'Or nominees: Ronaldo, Messi, Ribery
- Hurricanes rarely win in Vancouver
- Roy Halladay retiring after signing deal with Blue Jays
- Senators struggle to figure out Flyers
- Cowboys of concern to stumbling Bears
- Joe Torre, La Russa, Cox voted to baseball Hall of Fame
- Did You See That? Phaneuf's dangerous hit draws NHL hearing
- Luongo, Santorelli help Canucks clip Avalanche
(Click for RSS instructions.)