Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Lehtonen nearing return?
By Luke Lapinski
UPDATE: Goalie Kari Lehtonen will be able to start Thursday, versus the Edmonton Oilers. The Dallas Stars' No. 1 employed some bad math to promise as much on Tuesday.
“I was probably 75 percent yesterday, I am 85 percent today, I’ll be 95 percent tomorrow and then 105 on Thursday,” Lehtonen told the Dallas Morning News.
UPDATE: Although considered a game-time decision, Kari Lehtonen is probably "doubtful" for Tuesday's contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News suggests the No.1 for the Dallas Stars isn't quite there yet.
"There is a game (Tuesday), but (the decision) will wait until after the morning skate," Lehtonen said. "It's still a possibility, but I think there still is 20 percent (of my game) I am not sure about. We'll see."
A return for Thursday's tilt with the Edmonton Oilers seems more likely. Even then, the Stars may want to play it safe and wait until the weekend (Sunday, vs. St. Louis Blues).
The Dallas Stars have had to make due without their No. 1 option in goal since Kari Lehtonen went down with a groin injury back on Feb. 15. The 29-year old seems to be making progress though. And, while he hasn't come off injured reserve just yet, he is traveling with the team on their current road trip.
That road trip is only two days long, including a game in Nashville tonight and a contest in Columbus tomorrow. And, as Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News points out, Lehtonen is skating today. There's still no exact timetable for his return, but he appears to be responding well to rehab and it's not inconceivable that he could be playing again very soon. He's considered day-to-day at the moment, and is eligible to come off IR at any time. It makes sense that the Stars want to be cautious here, as Lehtonen was cruising along last season before dealing with an injury that cost him a dozen games. According to head coach Glen Gulutzan, this issue isn't as serious though.