’s recovery from a broken left calcaneus (heel) bone is progressing in the right direction, according to Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Pitkanen is currently in Raleigh, being treated by Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic.
“I talked to him just recently. He is doing better, but certainly not to the point that he could consider playing this year,” Rutherford said.
Better, of course, is relative. In September, five months after Pitkanen sustained the violent heel injury, he couldn’t put any weight on his foot. Pitkanen was then deemed unable to play for the entire 2013-14 season.
“Now he’s at the point where he can put a little bit of weight on it,” Rutherford said.
Still, the 30-year-old defenseman’s future remains uncertain.
“I think his hopes are that he continues to progress and that he has a chance to play next year,” Rutherford said.
Pitkanen, a veteran of 535 career NHL games, is currently in the final year of a three-year contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.