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Habs’ Markov undergoes third knee surgery in 18 months, out 4-6 weeks

Vancouver Canucks v Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL- NOVEMBER 9: Andrei Markov #79 of the Montreal Canadiens waits for a faceoff during the NHL game Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre on November 9, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Canucks 2-0. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier told Monday that defenseman Andrei Markov underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove debris in his right knee. The surgery -- performed by Dr. James Andrews -- was deemed a success and the club said Markov’s recovery will be 4-6 weeks.

This most recent operation was to clean up debris from Markov’s second ACL reconstruction surgery, performed on Dec. 8, 2010. That operation was required after the original surgery -- performed May 19, 2010 -- didn’t properly fix the damaged ligament.

Needless to say, there’s speculation in and around the Canadiens organization that Markov’s knee might prevent him from coming back at all. He’s 32 years old and missed 139 of Montreal’s last 191 regular season games -- so in additional to a surgically-reconstructed knee, Markov will have to shake off a large amount of rust.

That said, some optimism here from NHL correspondent Arpon Basu:

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