|ESPN.com: NHL||[Print without images]|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne underwent an MRI on his hip Thursday, and the results were improved, according to general manager David Poile.
Rinne will continue limited physical activity for the next two weeks and, if all goes well, will be able to advance to more strenuous conditioning later in December.
"In a nutshell, the doctor is happy with the progress," Poile said. "What he is recommending is two more weeks basically of rehab if you will. Dec. 20 is sort of a target date to hopefully get him into more strenuous activity leading back to playing."
Poile talked to reporters before Nashville's home game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Rinne has been sidelined since he had arthroscopic surgery on his left hip Oct. 24 as a result of a bacterial infection. The infection developed in the same hip that was surgically repaired May 9 following the conclusion of last season.
Since the October surgery, Rinne has been taking antibiotics. The intravenous line is scheduled to be removed Friday, although he will continue on antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
In nine games this season, Rinne is 4-4-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. He is a two-time finalist for the Vezina Trophy.
Poile could not give a target date for Rinne's projected return to the Nashville lineup. If healthy, the Finn is thought to be a candidate to represent Finland at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
In Rinne's absence, Marek Mazanec has ascended to the role as the Predators' top goaltender. Mazanec was named the NHL's rookie of the month for November on Tuesday.