Rypien, a gritty fourth-line player, had two goals in the first five games before leaving the team after contracting a virus during a recent six-game road trip. He had resumed working out and skating on his own before team practices when he felt a twinge in his abdomen.
"He went [Monday] morning to get evaluated by a specialist," coach Alain Vigneualt said Monday. "We found a sports hernia tear on the left side so he'll get operated on in the next couple of days."
It's the latest in a long list of injuries for Rypien, a cousin of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien.
The undrafted 24-year-old first earned his way up to the Canucks in 2005-06, but broke his leg after five games. He played well enough to make the team out of training camp the following season but broke his thumb in an exhibition fight. He started the season in the minors. Recalled in December, he tore his groin after just two games, and eventually had season-ending surgery.
He was beset by groin problems in the preseason again last year, and Rypien split the 2007-08 campaign between the AHL and Vancouver, where he recorded three points in 22 games.
The undersized 5-foot-10, 170-pound player has six points and 57 penalty minutes in 34 career NHL games.