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Roberto Luongo is itching to get back in net for Vancouver, but not at the risk of serious damage. ((Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press))

Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo spoke to reporters on Sunday for the first time since suffering a setback in his rehabilitation of a groin injury.

Luongo hasn't played since a Nov. 19 game in Pittsburgh. He progressed in his recovery until Wednesday, when he had to abort an attempt to practise with the team.

"Just when I thought I was ready to get back into it, my groin was telling me something else," said Luongo. "It's learn as you go here and I'll take it a bit slower this time around, and when I do get back on the ice that there's not going to be a point where I have to stay off.

"If I get on [the ice], I want it to stay that way."

Luongo was enjoying a terrific start, with five shutouts through 19 games. He's not able to set a timetable for his return.

"I want to be in goal everyday and play on the ice," he said. "Call it whatever you want but I'm definitely going to be working hard to get back as soon as possible."

Vancouver had been playing well in his absence until their recent road trip, during which they went 2-4-1 with Cory Schneider and Curtis Sanford providing mixed results in net.

The Canucks returned home Sunday for a game against the Florida Panthers.