SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers' goaltending situation is getting muddled as players get healthy again.
Jose Theodore and Jacob Markstrom, who both have been out with knee injuries, joined Scott Clemmensen when the Panthers held their morning skate in preparation for Thursday night's game against Los Angeles.
Another positive sign came Wednesday when Brian Foster, who backed up Clemmensen the last four games, was sent back to San Antonio of the AHL.
“We went from a goaltending issue to we’ve got a bit of a glut out there today," coach Kevin Dineen said. "No complaints from the coaching staff for us organizationally. It's nice for us to have a number of options for tonight’s game."
Clemmensen is expected to make a seventh consecutive start against Los Angeles, but Dineen didn't rule out the possibility of Theodore starting.
The former Vezina and Hart Trophy winner hasn't played since Jan. 20 in a 3-1 loss at Chicago. He initially was injured in a 3-2 victory over Montreal on New Year's Eve and returned Jan. 18 to start at Colorado in a game the Panthers lost 4-3 in overtime.
"I'm not going to break him in slowly," Dineen said. "As soon as he deems himself fit, and this morning's skate is a good, positive step for him, then he is a legitimate option to play tonight."
After a tremendous nine-game stretch where he was 5-1-3 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .935 save percentage, Clemmensen struggled in Florida's last two games. He gave up five goals on 32 shots in Saturday's 6-3 loss at Tampa Bay and then gave up four goals on 24 shots Tuesday in a 4-0 loss at Washington.
For the season, Clemmensen is 8-4-5 with a 2.80 GAA and a .908 save percentage, while Theodore is 14-9-5 with a 2.50 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
"He has been good this year and he'll continue to play an important role in our season," Dineen said of Theodore. "You can sit there, you can fiddle around, but goaltending is a key position in our League. A goaltender that comes in and makes that big, timely save is a real difference-maker. He did that on numerous occasions early in the season."
Markstrom, meanwhile, is still recovering from knee surgery, his second over the past year. He likely will be sent to San Antonio once he's ready to play.
"I'm just taking it day by day and trying to get back," Markstrom said. "You want to get back and play. It's never fun to watch your buddies play, so you always want to get back as fast as possible but you don't want a setback and you don't want to rush it. So you take it day by day, and hopefully I’ll be back playing soon."
Here's the Panthers' projected lineup:
Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Sean Bergenheim - Marcel Goc - Mikael Samuelsson
Tomas Kopecky - Shawn Matthias - Mike Santorelli
Krystofer Barch - John Madden - Matt Bradley
Jason Garrison - Mike Weaver
Brian Campbell - Erik Gudbranson
Keaton Ellerby - Tyson Strachan