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Rinne (hip) hopes to ramp up workload on Dec. 20

Dec 5, 2013, 7:57 PM EDT

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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

The Nashville Predators won’t be getting Pekka Rinne (hip infection) back in the near future, but he is making progress. The team announced that the 31-year-old goaltender needs at least two more weeks of rehab and hopes to increase his workload on Dec. 20.

It’s not clear if that means he’s still a possibility to return around Christmas, as Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported last month.

The Nashville Predators entered this season betting heavily on Rinne and had planned to use backup Carter Hutton sparingly. However with Rinne sidelined, 22-year-old netminder Marek Mazanec has risen to the occasion.

Going into tonight’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes, Mazanec had a 2.09 GAA and .930 save percentage in 12 games. Before this season, he had been playing in the Czech league and had just five contests worth of AHL experience prior to his NHL debut.

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