Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau told The Times on Wednesday that Heatley underwent a surgical procedure, in mid- to late November, after trying to return to play in late October and proceeding to go pointless in four games.
Heatley was placed on injured reserve after being a healthy scratch in the Ducks’ Nov. 12 home victory over the Kings. His original recovery plan was to rest and rehabilitate, but that changed.
A Ducks spokesman confirmed Heatley’s surgery took place "about three weeks ago," a procedure that was previously not announced.
Boudreau praised how Heatley has moved on the ice since returning to practice with the team on Monday, and said he expects the former two-time 50-goal scorer to accompany the Ducks on their five-game trip to Canada that begins Friday in Edmonton.
Boudreau said Heatley’s skating faster since his surgery, and added that it’s possible the veteran forward could return to his preseason spot on the first line with center Ryan Getzlaf when ready to play.
Ducks first-line right wing Corey Perry suffered a knee sprain Friday and will be out three-to-four weeks. In the interim, Devante Smith-Pelly, recently converted to center, was moved back as a first-line wing.
Heatley, who said he’d never previously suffered a groin injury, was moved off the first line after missing the season’s first nine games with the injury.
MORE HEALTH UPDATES: Boudreau said defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who suffered a fractured finger Oct. 26 and will miss his 21st game tonight when the Ducks play host to Edmonton at Honda Center at 7 p.m., could return to the lineup “this weekend.”
The Ducks play at Winnipeg on Saturday.
Boudreau added that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, signed to a one-year-contract on Tuesday, could be with the Ducks “as early as next week,” indicating he’ll likely play through the weekend on his current conditioning assignment for the Ducks’ minor-league affiliate, Norfolk.
LIKELY LINES: In addition to goalie Frederik Andersen leaving the ice first, indicating he’ll make his 16th consecutive start tonight, the Ducks’ expected lines for tonight are: