In an interview with Canucks TV from his hometown of Livonia, Mich., Kesler said he just got off his crutches and hopes to start skating over the next few weeks.
"It's going good, small victories here and there," he said. "Everything is back to normal ... hopefully [I'll] be back by that first game."
The Canucks, who lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games in this past season's Cup finals, open the 2011-12 campaign at home on Oct. 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2010-11, Kesler had a career-high 41 goals and added 32 assists in 82 regular-season games and added seven goals and 12 assists in the playoffs.
Kesler needed the operation to repair his labrum, which is a type of cartilage that surrounds the socket of ball-and-socket joints. It helps to provide stability to the joint while allowing flexibility and motion. Kesler also had surgery to repair a torn hip labrum in late January 2007 and was expected then to be out 12 to 16 weeks, but returned just 10 weeks later for the first game of the playoffs.
"I know what it takes, I know the rehab," Kesler said. "It may have even made me a little braver to try things I probably shouldn't be trying, but it's going to make me come back quicker and hopefully I can, like I said, play that first game."
Check out the full interview from Canucks TV here:
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.