ST. LOUIS – Training camp begins this week for the St. Louis Blues, but it will start without one of the team’s most experienced players.

Defenseman Marco Scandella is expected to undergo hip surgery in the near future, the Blues announced Tuesday.

The team says Scandella injured his hip last month while training for the upcoming season. He will be sidelined at least six months before he is reevaluated.

Scandella has dressed in nearly 700 games over 12 NHL seasons, including his last three with the St. Louis Blues. The injury will test the depth of the Blues defense and possibly open more consistent opportunities for young blue liners Niko Mikkola and Scott Perunovich.

The Blues could consider placing Scandella on the long-term injured list to open up as much as $3.2 million in cap space. Without such a move, St. Louis would begin the season with less than $1 million in cap space for the upcoming season to explore other roster moves.

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