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Malhotra to miss rest of season, Kesler back soon

Vancouver Canucks Manny Malhotra talks with media after being cleared to play in the NHL Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks Manny Malhotra talks with the media following practice in Vancouver, British Columbia May 28, 2011. Malhotra has been cleared to play by doctors after suffering a severe eye injury earlier this year. The Canucks will meet the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of their NHL Stanley Cup Final hockey playoffs June 1. REUTERS/Andy Clark (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY HEADSHOT)


The Vancouver Canucks announced today that center Manny Malhotra has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season.

Malhotra, 32, suffered a serious eye injury in March of 2011 when he was struck with a puck. While he returned for six games of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, played 78 games in 2011-12 (plus five playoff games) and has appeared in nine games this season, his on-ice role has been limited since the injury.

“The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis in a release. “Throughout his career Manny has showcased his indispensability through skilled play, being a consummate professional and leader in the room while also continuously giving back to the community. Manny will continue to be a valued member of our organization.”

Malhotra is in the final year of a three-year, $7.5 million contract.

The above news coincides with the expected return of center Ryan Kesler, who was reportedly wearing a contact jersey today at practice and skating on a line with Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian.

The Canucks host Dallas Friday night.

#canucks Ryan Kesler won’t commit to a return date but tomorrow is a possibility. Cory Schneider will start versus #stars.

— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) February 14, 2013