Veteran wing Ryan Callahan is expected to miss four weeks, the Lightning announced Sunday.

And it's fair to question when, and if, Callahan, 31, plays again this season. Or, for that matter, if he should.

Callahan continues to be bothered by his hip, which was surgically-repaired back in June. He's played in just 18 games this season, the last coming Jan. 7 in Philadelphia. It's been frustrating for Callahan, who can't seem to shake the soreness. He's tried resting it, missing over a month from Nov. 28-Jan. 3. But after playing in just three games, Callahan is out at least another month.

If this persists, the Lightning could decide to put Callahan on long-term injured reserve and shut him down for the rest of the regular season, which would provide some cap relief for March's trade deadline. Callahan's cap hit ($5.8 million) is second on the roster behind Ben Bishop ($5.95 million), as Steven Stamkos' ($8.5 million) is on long-term injured reserve.