For the second time in five months, Pekka Rinne will undergo hip surgery. This time around, it is arthroscopic hip surgery after an unexpected infection in the hip. The surgery and recovery will likely have Rinne missing at least the next four weeks of the regular season.
"When [Rinne] got back to Nashville after the plane ride home, he developed some soreness and stiffness in his hip and had a little bit of a fever,” General Manager David Poile said. “He came into practice yesterday with a significant limp and was in a fair bit of pain. We sent him to Vanderbilt to see Dr. [J.W. Thomas] Byrd who did the operation five months ago. A series of tests and an MRI determined that he has a spontaneous bacterial infection.
“I’m not a doctor, but in talking with the doctor, they have no idea how this developed five months after the fact. He was healed up and had no significant pain or setbacks. Because of the infection, they are going to do a scope of his hip to flush it out and to do the ultimate best they can to remove the infection as soon as possible. Because of the scope, he will be out approximately one month, so that is where we are. I have no other updates on it in terms of more details.”
Rinne's injury came at the worst time possible when he was on a hot streak, going 3-1-1 in his past five starts with 1.60 goals against average and 0.937 save percentage.
Backup netminder Carter Hutton will be getting the start on most nights now with Magnus Hellberg backing him up. It will be a good test for the inexperienced goaltender, who has looked strong in the regular season.
This is a huge blow to the Predators to lose their star goalie to yet another hip injury. If Hutton can bail the team out and finish just above .500, it will be a major success for the team and its postseason hopes.