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Habs’ Petry hopes for strong return from sports hernia surgery

Montreal Canadiens v Philadelphia Flyers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 05: Jeff Petry #26 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on before a face off against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 5, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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Jeff Petry’s first season in Montreal after signing his lucrative contract extension with the Habs didn’t go according to plan for both the player and team.

The Habs, after the injury to Carey Price, fell apart and fell out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Petry, 28 years old and signed to a six-year, $33 million deal, had five goals and 16 points to go with a strong 54.5 per cent Corsi For rating at even strength -- in 51 games played.

But his season was cut short due to injury. He underwent sports hernia surgery in March and was expected to be out for 12 weeks. But the right-shooting defenseman expressed optimism with how his offseason workouts have progressed, as he looks to enter training camp for the new season in good health.

“After taking a little time off, I got back in the gym in June and jumped right back in as if I didn’t have the surgery,” Petry told the Habs’ website.

“I was actually kind of surprised how strong I was going in terms of lifting. I was lifting more than I did last summer. That was good for me to see, and I was feeling stronger than in previous years. I feel good.”

His recovery may have gone under the radar, especially after the controversial summer the Habs had, dealing P.K. Subban for Shea Weber.