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Blues forward Paul Kariya's hip surgery likely in next few weeks

ST. LOUIS - Blues left wing Paul Kariya will seek further medical advice before having what will likely be season-ending surgery on his left hip.

The 34-year-old Kariya said the operation will probably take place in the next few weeks. An MRI revealed injuries in two spots in the joint area of the left hip, indicating a possible labrum tear.

"Obviously as quick as possible would be terrific," Kariya said Monday. "Anytime you're having surgery, you want to have second and third opinions and make sure everyone is on the right page."

Kariya added he believed the surgery will not hinder the rest of his career.

"It's good in one way that we know something has to be taken care of," Kariya said. "I'm confident that when it's taken care of, I'll get to 100 per cent."

Kariya had two goals and 13 points in the Blues' first 11 games before injuring the hip Nov. 5 against Anaheim. He's been out of the lineup since then and appeared to be improving, skating with the team three days last week.

But he cut short a workout Friday and underwent the exam that showed additional damage inside the hip. The Blues announced the impending operation on Saturday.

"I was skating and I felt every day was getting better and feeling better," Kariya said. "I got on the ice a couple of weeks ago and skated six times on my own, and felt really good.

"But it's different when you're skating by yourself and then you go out and skate with the guys and you have to react to things. You realize something is not operating right."

Kariya is in the second season of a US$18-million, three-year contract.


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