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.
[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.
— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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