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Preds’ Rinne (hip) still on crutches, but ‘positive it will be better’

May 21, 2013, 11:01 AM EST

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Goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators looks on during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
(March 29, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

It’s been two weeks since Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne underwent surgery to correct a degenerative condition in his hip and, while the recovery will be lengthy, he says it’s going to benefit him in the long run.

“I’m positive it will be better,” Rinne told The Tennessean. “Right now I’m just happy it’s taken care of and hopefully I can return stronger. I’m sure once I get back on the ice, I’ll notice the biggest differences.”

Rinne said the injury put him in pain all of last season, but refused to use it as an excuse for his play — which wasn’t especially poor anyway.

His numbers were down from the stellar ones posted during 2011-12 (when he earned a Vezina nomination) but still solid: 2.43 GAA, .910 save percentage and five shutouts, tying for the NHL lead.

As for the present…

Rinne is still on crutches and could be for as many as six more weeks.

The overall recovery window for this type of procedure is four months — which would take him right up to the start of training camp — and, as a result, he’s opted to stay in Nashville for the summer rather than return to his native Finland.

The move probably came as a relief to the organization.

Nashville has plenty invested in Rinne (six more years and $42 million dollars, to be exact) and would like to monitor his recovery — though Rinne himself sounds optimistic about how it’ll go.

“It’s been really good,” he said of recovery thus far. “The swelling and inflammation went down right away and I was able to kind of start doing the rehab right away the first couple days.

“It’s been helping a whole lot and there’s no pain. It makes every day life a little more comfortable.”

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