The Nashville Predators announced Friday that goaltender Pekka Rinne, limited to nine games this season due to a hip infection, has been cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises under a doctor's supervision.
"We are encouraged and pleased to report that Pekka is moving on to the next stage in his recovery and rehabilitation," the Predators said in a statement released Friday. "He has been cleared to begin weight-bearing exercises under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Byrd. There is no timetable for this stage as that will be evaluated by Dr. Byrd and our medical team on a daily basis. Our primary objective is to insure Pekka's full recovery and return to the ice by taking every possible precaution throughout the process. We will provide further updates when available."
Rinne hasn't played since Oct. 22. In his absence the Predators have used a tandem of Carter Hutton, who had one game of NHL experience prior to this season, and Marek Mazanec, in his first season playing in North America.
The Predators enter Friday sixth in the Central Division with 44 points.
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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