Injured Pitkanen says he's making progress

calexander@newsobserver.comMarch 13, 2014 

CANESWASH10.SP.040213.nosell.CCS

The Hurricanes Joni Pitkanen (25) drives the Caps Brooks Laich (21) into the boards during the first period of an NHL game played between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. on April 2, 2013. Pitkanen was injured later in the game; it was announced on Sept 11, 2013 that he would miss the entire 2013-2014 season because of the injury to his heel.

CHRIS SEWARD — cseward@newsobserver.com

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen, in a statement released Thursday by the team, said he is making progress in recovering from a broken heel bone but can't say when he will be able to return to hockey.

Pitkanen, 30, suffered a broken left calcaneus bone on April 2, 2013, against the Washington Capitals. He missed the remainder of the 2012-13 season and was ruled out of the 2013-14 season.

“I’ve been working with Raleigh Orthopaedic throughout this season with the hope of returning to play hockey," Pitkanen sad. "There is no timetable as of now, but I’ve been making progress with my rehab and it remains my goal to resume my professional hockey career. It’s been frustrating to be away from the ice, but I want to thank all of the people who have expressed support throughout the season.”

Pitkanen has scored 57 goals and earned 225 assists in 535 career NHL regular-season games with Philadelphia, Edmonton and Carolina.

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