Randy Carlyle confirmed at morning skate that center Ryan Kesler will return to the lineup to make his season debut against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.
Randy Carlyle said @Ryan_Kesler is IN the lineup tonight.— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) December 27, 2017
“We know it takes players time to get their ‘A’ game underneath them, but we know one thing about Kes - he’ll be ready to battle.” #LetsGoDucks
The 33-year-old veteran has missed the entire season up until this point due to offseason hip surgery to remove “hip bone fragments” floating in his body. This injury was the primary reason why Kesler’s torrid first half pace last season slowed to a crawl in the final months and into the playoffs.
Kesler has been one of the biggest missing pieces for a Ducks team that has had a near historical level of man-games lost due to injuries. With his return, the Ducks will only be down Corey Perry for an expected fully healthy roster for the first time all season (not including Patrick Eaves, who still has no timeline for return).