Luongo, who hadn't played since he was injured on Oct. 27, replaced Andrew Raycroft at the start of the second period Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues. The Blues led the game 4-0 after one period.
"That's the only positive thing," Luongo said after the Canucks' 6-1 loss. "I got some minutes, but it's tough. You don't want to come in situations like that."
Luongo took part in the Canucks' morning skate Tuesday but wasn't expected to play until Thursday in Detroit. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault removed Raycroft after the goalie allowed four goals on 13 shots.
Luongo was injured when a sharp-angle shot hit a seam in his chest protector during a game Oct. 24 against Toronto.
He finished that game and posted a shutout against Edmonton the following night before the pain in his ribcage flared up during a loss to Detroit on Oct. 27.
Raycroft was 4-1-0 during Luongo's absence.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.