Ducks hopeful Kesler can return from hip injury by Christmas

Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks are hopeful center Ryan Kesler will be able to join the team by Christmas, general manager Bob Murray said Friday, per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

Kesler underwent surgery in June to remove bone fragments in his hip, and was given a 12-week timeline to resume activity at the time of the procedure.

For the first time since 2010-11, Kesler suited up in all 82 games last season, and finished second on the Ducks with 58 points.

He'll be sorely missed in the middle of Anaheim's lineup, as he's Randy Carlyle's top shutdown pivot. Last season's Selke runner-up is effective in all three zones, and finished 2016-17 with a remarkable 57.4 faceoff win percentage.