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Jamie Benn says focus is on playing at World Cup after off-season surgery

Jared Clinton
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Jamie Benn ( Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Jamie Benn says focus is on playing at World Cup after off-season surgery

Jared Clinton
By:

Jamie Benn’s six-week recovery process from off-season surgery puts his return date just ahead of the Team Canada’s World Cup training camp, and the Dallas Stars captain says he’s training towards being ready for the tournament.

Jamie Benn may have signed an eight-year, $76-million contract extension with the Stars this off-season, but that doesn’t mean it’s been all smooth sailing for the Dallas captain. The day before inking his long-term deal, Benn went under the knife to repair a core muscle injury.

After going undergoing surgery, the Stars announced that Benn would be out for a minimum of six weeks and that he’d be re-evaluated at that time. And while the injury isn’t the worst news for the Stars, who are assured to have Benn back in the lineup by the time the season begins, it was a blow to Benn, who was set to participate at the World Cup as a member of Team Canada. The surgery put Benn’s spot on the Canadian roster in question, but the 27-year-old said he’s hoping he can get back to full speed before the tournament.

"I think this is a surgery that I'm able to come back a little quicker than double-hip surgery," Benn told NHL.com, referencing the surgery he underwent last off-season. "That's the main focus I'm training towards being able to make it for World Cup. We'll just see what happens.”

Benn said he’s making progress and sticking with his rehab program, though he said it’s been difficult not to push himself.

"Well, the last two weeks have been pretty boring, not doing too much, letting it heal and recover," Benn told NHL.com. "Doing little exercises here and there, but I think this week I could be able to pick it up a bit and possibly even skate later in the week."

Benn coming back in time for the World Cup would be a boon for the Canadian squad. No player over the past two seasons has scored more than Benn, and the Stars winger’s 76 goals over the past two campaigns is the fourth-most of any player. As part of Canada’s roster, Benn is almost assured a spot on the top line, and in a tournament that will also see him able to skate alongside Stars teammate and linemate Tyler Seguin, the two could potentially form a formidable duo for Canada.

However, that Benn is potentially back on the ice and skating again this early doesn’t mean he’s in the clear. The Stars said they would determine Benn’s availability for the World Cup after he was through his rehab, and he’s still got another month to go before the suggested six-week rehab process is over.

World Cup training camps are set to begin in the first week of September, and Benn’s goal is to be in Ottawa to join his Canadian teammates. But unfortunately for Benn, whether he’ll be there or not is still to be determined.

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Jamie Benn says focus is on playing at World Cup after off-season surgery