The Anaheim Ducks announced today that center Ryan Kesler has undergone successful hip resurfacing surgery to ease pain that has followed the 34-year-old for the last two seasons.
General Manager Bob Murray made a statement confirming the surgery and the club’s support of his decision. He also noted that Kesler would likely miss the entire 2019-2020 campaign, but that, “[they] will support any decision he makes about his future playing career.”
Kesler followed with a statement on the procedure and his immediate future.
Ryan Kesler, on his decision to undergo surgery. pic.twitter.com/BHdDatKzmz— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) May 13, 2019
Kesler struggled immensely last season, marking career lows in goals with five and points with eight over almost a full season. An article in Sports Illustrated detailed the daunting injury issues and his recovery, at times not being able to walk on his own without help.
The statements from both Murray and Kesler leave the possibility open for him to return for 2020-2021, but that will depend entirely on the center’s recovery. However, with this kind of major hip surgery and the persistent presence of degenerative arthritis, the likelihood of Kesler playing professional hockey again is slim.
By missing the upcoming season, the Ducks will put Kesler onto Long Term Injured Reserve, gaining approximately $6.875 million of cap relief should they need it.