Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki may not need surgery on the torn labrum in his left hip, it was announced on Thursday by Flyers Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jim McCrossin.
Below is a transcript of a conversation with McCrossin regarding Niittymaki's status and immediate future plans.
Jim McCrossin: "I spoke with Dr. [Thomas] Byrd this morning, and he reviewed the MRI last night. Antero and I are flying down to Nashville to have Dr. Byrd evaluate him [Friday morning]. What Dr. Byrd found on the MRI is that at some point Niitty is going to need surgery. But, he did give us another option about having a [cortisone] injection, calming down the hip and keeping the hip strong and allowing Niitty to play throughout the season and having the surgery done in the offseason. Obviously, in speaking with Bob Clarke, Niitty and the medical staff, that's the direction we'd like to take. We truly believe we can keep Niitty's musculature strong in that area. With the injection, if it does take, that would be great. On the other side, if it doesn't take, then we'd have to obviously look at surgery. But, let's not go that route."
Is this just one injection or series of injections? JM: "He would be able to receive the injection, if we choose to do it, tomorrow in Nashville, another one sometime in December, and another one right before the playoffs. That would be ideal for us. We'll keep our fingers crossed that the injection and the rehab he will be doing is going to keep him healthy all through the season and we'll do the surgery in the offseason."
Have you talked to Antero? JM: "Absolutely. We spoke yesterday about it, and today with Bob Clarke, Niitty and myself. Nobody wants to have surgery, and he would like to go ahead and try the injection, and that's the route we're going to pursue."