Jori Lehtera out 6-to-8 weeks after ankle surgery

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Jori Lehtera out 6-to-8 weeks after ankle surgery
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St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera underwent ankle surgery and won't be able to skate for 6-to-8 weeks.

For those keeping count, that means he will get back to skating activities by Sept. 21 on the short end or Oct. 5 on the long end. St. Louis’ season opener is Oct. 8 against some kid named Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers

The Blues announced the news Monday morning. Lehtera underwent the procedure Aug. 4. The team said he suffered the injury the end of the 2014-15 season.

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Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

With regard to Lehtera's ankle, the Blues opted for rest and rehabilitation over surgery this offseason. It wasn't bothersome during everyday activity or even off-ice workouts, but when Lethera resumed skating back home in Finland, the injury began nagging again. With the season approaching, the procedure was deemed necessary.

"The hope was time would have the ankle settle down, but he was still sore, so we acted (with surgery) so he would be ready for the start of the season," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch.

Last season, his first in North America, Lehtera notched 14 goals and 44 points. Mostly he was the ‘defensively responsible’ one on a line with human highlight machine Vladimir Tarasenko. Between Paul Stastny and David Backes, the Blues do have quite the center depth if any extra issues arrive with Lehtera. Though there are rumors Backes may move to wing. 

He has one year left on his two-year $5.5 million contract, before a three-year $14.1 million deal kicks in for the 2016-17 season.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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