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Lightning optimistic following Kucherov’s hip surgery

Lightning star winger had procedure Tuesday in New York, will miss regular season
Nikita Kucherov (86) of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal on the Dallas Stars during the first period in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff at Rogers Place on September 23, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta.
Nikita Kucherov (86) of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal on the Dallas Stars during the first period in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff at Rogers Place on September 23, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. [ MARKO DITKUN | Special to the Times ]
Published Dec. 30, 2020
Updated Dec. 30, 2020

TAMPA — Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov underwent surgery on his right hip Tuesday, and “initial indications” are that the procedure will resolve the star winger’s hip condition, the team announced Wednesday.

The surgery was performed by hip specialist Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

As was announced earlier this month by Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois, Kucherov’s recovery and rehab are expected to keep him out through the duration of the regular season. The Lightning hope that Kucherov could return for the playoffs, which begin on May 11.

Related: Lightning's Nikita Kucherove will miss regular season with hip injury

Kucherov first reported the discomfort on Dec. 3 and he received a cortisone injection in his hip in hopes he could make the beginning of the regular season.

But the 27-year-old still felt pain in the hip after the shot, and the team opted for surgery instead of hoping Kucherov could play through the injury for four months of the regular season and then the playoffs.

The procedure is similar to the ones Lightning forwards Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde received, though both players had both hips repaired, while Kucherov’s was just for his right hip. Dr. Kelly also did Point and Gourde’s surgeries.

Point had his surgery during the 2019 offseason and responded with a 25-goal, 64-point regular season and a league-high 14 postseason goals this post season.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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