PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Olli Maatta will have thyroid surgery next week to remove a potentially cancerous tumour.
The tumour was discovered during a preseason physical. Maatta underwent further tests before team doctors came to a diagnosis. He is scheduled to miss four weeks but is cleared to play until the surgery.
Team doctor Dharmesh Vyas says there is an "85 per cent chance" the tumour is cancerous but added the 20-year-old Maatta will not need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Maatta has one goal and four assists in seven games this season for the Penguins, who host New Jersey on Tuesday.