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Hurricanes say Joni Pitkanen out until March

Jan 24, 2012, 12:02 PM EDT

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Joni Pitkanen AP

Joni Pitkanen‘s season in Carolina has been put on hold thanks to a concussion and now he’ll be out a bit longer thanks to rehabbing from knee surgery.

Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford says that Pitkanen will likely be out until March thanks to his two injuries. Rutherford tells Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer that getting Pitkanen back before the season ends is their goal.

“It’s all about the approach to rehab and how you go about the rehab. Based on his rehab, it should be about the first of March when he can get back to skating. Then it would be a week or so before he’s playing.”

Pitkanen’s absence from the Hurricanes lineup has been a glaring one. Without him, they’ve struggled to keep things together defensively this season and his absence has forced Carolina to put rookie Justin Faulk into a big time role.

Fortunately for the Canes, Faulk has adapted well and now the team is improving but by going without Pitkanen, they’re worse for the wear.

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