Canucks send defenceman Bieksa to AHL for conditioning assignment

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa is headed to Manitoba of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment, the next step in his recovery from a gruesome calf injury.

Bieksa has missed 46 games since Nashville forward Vernon Fiddler’s skate sliced deep into his leg as the two got tangled in a corner during a Nov. 1 game.

Blood soaked through his socks as he was helped off the ice and he had surgery the next day to repair damage to the calf and other muscles leading to his Achilles tendon.

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Bieksa – who led Canucks defencemen with 42 points, including 12 goals, last season – resumed skating Feb. 1, exactly three months after the injury.