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Vokoun Out 3-6 Months

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun will be out for 3-6 months after undergoing a procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis on Sept. 21.

“Physically he’s doing great. Mentally he’s doing great, which is good news,” general manager Ray Shero said. “(Vokoun) will be on blood thinning medicine. During this time he’s OK to workout and do everything except play hockey. We’ll evaluate this as we go along.

“The most important thing for Tomas and for us is his short-term health and long-term health. He’s in good hands.”

Vokoun, who has been placed on long-term injured reserve, will be evaluated after three months to check his progress to see when or if he can return to the ice. But at this point in time, Vokoun’s focus isn’t on his career.

“Right now I’m not thinking about my career or playing hockey, I’m more worried about long-term health,” Vokoun, 37, said. “I’ve gotten great care from the doctors and the team. Top professionals are giving me advice.

“I know where I stand. I’m going with the short term. Three months is a minimum. After that I’ll evaluate where I am. The doctors will monitor my health and progress. Then I’ll make my decision then.”

In the meantime, the Penguins will begin the season with the goaltending tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff.

“I want to go with the goaltending we have here and see how we do,” Shero said. “Like anything, you’ll evaluate as you go. Since Tomas has been out I know who every available free agent goalie is because I’ve gotten calls from their agents and other teams.

“Right now I want to go with this and see how we do. I want to give Jeff the opportunity, which I think he’s deserved.”

Vokoun left practice on Sept. 21 after noticing swelling in his thigh. He was taken to the emergency room where a blood clot was diagnosed. Vokoun underwent a procedure to fix the problem.

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