Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo was expected to be sidelined week to week after straining his left groin in a Nov. 22 game at Pittsburgh. ((Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo no doubt raised a few eyebrows when he took the ice late in Monday's game day skate at Columbus.

Sidelined week to week with a strained left groin, he skated with full gear and took a few laps around the Nationwide Arena playing surface, did a few twists and turns, but didn't face any shots.

"It's a positive step in the right direction," Luongo told reporters afterwards. "We'll take it from here day by day. We're going to try and increase the workload every day."

Canucks goalie consultant Ian Clark will join the team Tuesday and do on-ice work with Luongo, a two-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top netminder.

The 29-year-old sports a 11-5-2 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and five shutouts in 19 starts this season, his third in Vancouver.

Earlier this season, Luongo broke his own a franchise record by going 242 minutes 36 seconds without giving up a goal.

"For now, I think it's just a matter of making sure that before I get into practice and stuff I am feeling 100 per cent.

"I'm excited. I have been wanting to get back for a few days now."

Luongo, who has played in at least 72 of his team's 82 games in each of the past four campaigns, injured himself making a routine save in a Nov. 22 contest at Pittsburgh.

Rookie Cory Schneider and Curtis Sanford, who will start Monday against Columbus (7 p.m. ET), have been sharing the load in their teammate's absence.

At 14-8-2, Vancouver sits atop the Northwest Division but is coming off a two-game sweep at the hands of the Calgary Flames.

In other Canucks news, the team has sent centre Alex Bolduc to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League and recalled forward Jason Jaffray.

An injury to tough guy Darcy Hordichuk also means right-winger Mike Brown could be inserted into Monday's lineup.