Vincent Lecavalier to have surgery

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier will have surgery on Monday to help speed the healing process for a non-displaced fracture of a bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday morning.

Coach Guy Boucher said there had been much discussion about how to address Lecavalier's injury after he took a shot to his right index finger in a loss to Washington last week. In the end it was agreed that surgery would be the best option to get Lecavalier back in the lineup.

Without surgery, it might have been six to eight weeks before Lecavalier would have returned, Boucher said Sunday prior to the Lightning's home game against the Minnesota Wild. With the surgery, Lecavalier could rejoin the team in three to five weeks, Boucher said.

Cleveland surgeon Dr. Tom Graham will perform the procedure in Cleveland on Monday.

Lecavalier, who skated on Sunday morning with Simon Gagne, another of the Lightning's injured players, has nine points in 14 games for the Lightning. Boucher said his timely return to the lineup could make the difference for the Lightning reaching the playoffs.

Scott Burnside is a hockey writer for ESPN.com.