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Canes think Tuomo Ruutu (hip) is ahead of schedule

Mar 10, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT

Tuomo Ruutu Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes seemed resigned to say goodbye to Tuomo Ruutu for at least the regular season after he underwent hip surgery. They might be able to welcome him back into the lineup sooner than that.

Ruutu could rapidly approach a return if doctors clear him on March 15, according to The Raleigh News & Observer.

Head coach Kirk Muller believes Ruutu, 30, is in good condition despite being out of action.

“Hopefully by next week we get the green light from him,” Muller said. “I think it will start off as team practices, then physical contact. He’s a guy who has kept himself in pretty good shape. I think once it starts, as far as practices, I don’t think he’s too far off.

“If he feels good, you could see him being ready to get in the lineup. I don’t know how long it will take but I don’t think it will take too long.”

That’s vague, but it sounds like he has a solid shot to beat those early prognostications by a healthy margin if that doctor’s visit goes well.

Ruutu is a solid scorer (18 goals, 34 points last season; 57 points in 2010-11), but the physical edge he brings to the table could really be a difference-maker for Carolina.

  1. herbiecane - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Great news. Ruutu brings some “thump” that has been lacking.
    Now if Ward could also heal ahead of schedule and Alex Semin sign an extension…..

  2. tfaltin - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    He could have a huge impact on the Canes, and give them a great chance to win the Southeast. Patrick Dwyer has done an admirable job playing RW on the 2nd line, but that will be the perfect place for Ruutu to slot into. He’ll free up more space for Skinner, and add more scoring touch to that 2nd line. Because the E Staal – Tlusty – Semin line is playing at an elite level, the 2nd line of J Staal – Skinner and Ruutu will have favorable matchups night in and night out.

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