Center to return before season's end

Updated: January 23, 2004, 10:57 AM ET
SportsTicker

Martin Straka
Straka
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings hope to have Martin Straka back in the lineup before the end of the season after the oft-injured center underwent surgery on both knees Thursday.

Team physician Dr. Ronald Kvitne performed arthroscopic surgery to repair damaged cartilage in both knees at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Surgery Center.

Straka, who was acquired from Pittsburgh on November 30, injured his right knee in a 2-2 tie with Dallas on January 3. He injured the other knee a week later in a 2-2 tie with Columbus.

The 31-year-old Czech has 10 goals and 13 assists in 40 games this season, his 12th in the NHL. He is one of six players on injured reserve for Los Angeles, which also has been without star forwards Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh all season.