Hip surgery sidelines Rinne until training camp, possibly longer

Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8:00pm

There were plenty of Nashville Predators who did not play as much as hoped this season because of injuries that ultimately required surgery.

As it turned out the one guy who probably played too much needed an operation as well.

Goalie Pekka Rinne underwent a hip arthroscopy Wednesday to correct deterioration in the joint on his left side. General manager David Poile revealed the news Thursday and said that the team’s medical staff had been aware of the situation since the end of the 2011-12 season.

“It was something existent but it wasn’t bothering him,” Poile said. “If he decided to wait until next year, the doctor and Pekka were confident he could have played the season, though they couldn’t predict whether it would flare up to the point that he would be in more pain. There was not a lot of discomfort this season at all.

“… It just seems the culmination of everything that’s happened to us this last half of the year with all these operations. But they’re all done and hopefully all of the players will be ready to play at the end of training camp.”

Rinne’s status for the start of camp, which is set for Sept. 11, is uncertain. Typical rehabilitation from the procedure is four months, almost the exact amount of time between now and then.

He will remain in Nashville for most of the offseason rather than return to his native Finland.

The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist played in 43 of Nashville’s 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He was sixth among all NHL goalies in ice time and ninth in the number of shots faced.

Over the past three seasons he has appeared in 85 percent of the team’s regular-season contests as well as all 22 playoff games in 2011 and 2012.

“This, I think, just goes to the position that he’s playing, the wear and tear that goaltenders [endure] and what the current style of play is,” Poile said. “This is an operation that many, many players in the NHL have had.

“… Pekka didn’t really have much discomfort — if any — this year. He never complained about it.”

A day after the Predators’ season ended with a loss at Columbus, Rinne said he would undergo an MRI related to a lower body situation but offered no specifics. According to Poile, the goalie also sought a second opinion from a doctor in New York and spoke to some NHL players who had undergone the procedure.

“His thoughts were after he talked to all the doctors that it was probably best to get it taken care of now,” Poile said. “He thought that would be very good for his career and very good for his quality of life later on.”

Nashville-based orthopedist Dr. Thomas Byrd performed the procedure.

A hip arthroscopy is used when patients experience pain “labral tears, loose bodies, and small femur deformities (the ball of the hip joint that is at the top of the thigh bone) and the hip socket,” according to the Duke Orthopedics website.

“Everybody felt at the end of the day, with all the research, that this would be the best thing for Pekka, for the longevity of his career and for his future lifestyle,” Poile said. “… It’s unfortunate for Pekka. It’s unfortunate for us. But it was the right thing to do, and hopefully he’ll be ready to go at training camp.”

Updates on other Nashville players who underwent surgery near the end of the season or early in the offseason:

• Left wing Colin Wilson underwent surgery on his left shoulder prior to the end of the season and followed with a similar procedure on the right shoulder Monday. His status for the start of training camp is uncertain, but team officials are optimistic.

“It was possible he wouldn’t do the second one until maybe next year,” Poile said. “But everything went well. Colin felt good. He wanted to do it and we went ahead and did that.”

• Center Paul Gaustad had shoulder surgery, which requires a four-month rehab, prior to the end of the season and is on track to be healthy for the start of training camp.

• Right wing Matt Halischuk has had no setbacks in his recovery from shoulder surgery. His rehabilitation also is expected to conclude shortly before the start of training camp.

• Left wing Gabriel Bourque has recovered fully from minor surgery to repair a knee ligament and has been released to go home for the remainder of the offseason.

• Also, forwards Brandon Yip and Sergei Kostitsyn have been involved in rehab for knee strains and both are close to being released.

1 Comment on this post:

By: 4gold on 5/9/13 at 8:47

So that is why he played like crap all year.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!