Lightning center and captain Vinny Lecavalier will have what the team described as minor arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday, but he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
"Vinny told me he felt some irritation when he was skating over the summer and it wasn't going away,'' general manager Steve Yzerman said Saturday.
A MRI exam indicated a small meniscus tear. Rather than wait to see how it goes and perhaps be forced to deal with it during the season, Lecavalier will have surgery now. Lightning orthopedic surgeon Ira Guttentag will perform the procedure at the Florida Medical Clinic, and Lecavalier should be back at full strength in three to four weeks, the club said.
"You deal with injuries all the time, and the timing of this works out okay,'' said Yzerman, who added that he had the same procedure during his Hall of Fame career. "Assuming they find nothing unexpected, he'll be completely healed before training camp (opens on Sept. 17).''
Yzerman and the club are counting on that.
Lecavalier, 30, who has been slowed in recent years by shoulder and wrist injuries, is looking to rebound after a disappointing season. Not only did his team miss the playoffs, but he scored 24 goals, his fewest since he had 20 in the 2001-02 season. His goal production has decreased every year since he scored 52 to win the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2007.
At the end of this season, he insisted that he was still young, strong and more than capable of re-establishing himself as one of the NHL's elite players. (He did have 46 assists to finish with 70 points, which was third on the team behind Steven Stamkos and Marty St. Louis.) Yzerman said Lecavalier is excited about the club's direction on the ice and off, and can "get it back.''