Defenseman Joni Pitkanen
is set to undergo a minor knee procedure today to repair torn cartilage in his knee. The injury will sideline him for approximately 2-4 weeks.
According to Hurricanes' Head Trainer and Strength and Conditoining Coach Pete Friesen, Pitkanen suffered the injury while doing leg presses in Finland over the summer. He attempted to skate through the discomfort at the RecZone earlier this week, but a later MRI showed a small tear.
Although the injury is similar to the torn meniscus Pitkanen underwent surgery to repair in October of last season, causing him to miss nine games, Friesen said that he still has no long-term concerns over the knee.
"It should be fine, it's just not something you want to keep doing over and over again," said Friesen. "We expect a total recovery."
"It should be relatively short-term here, which is a good sign," said General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Even on the conservative side, the injury should sideline Pitkanen for most, if not all, of training camp. If it goes the full four weeks or beyond, the soon-to-be 26-year old Finn (his birthday is on Saturday) could miss the first five or six games of the regular season. The Hurricanes' regular-season opener on October 2 comes 15 days after today's scheduled procedure.
The preseason just got a little bit more interesting for the likes of Brett Carson, Jay Harrison
, Jamie McBain
and Bryan Rodney, who could end up starting the season with the Hurricanes until Pitkanen can return.