Knee surgery likely to sideline Fernandez for rest of season

BOSTON -- Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez had knee surgery on Wednesday and will likely be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Fernandez hurt his left knee during practice on Oct. 30. It's the same knee he injured last January, when he was with the Minnesota Wild. He chose not to have surgery then, but subsequently reinjured the knee several times before being shut down in early March. The Bruins acquired Fernandez last July for forward Petr Kalus and a fourth-round draft pick.

"It's a relief, because we know he's going to be in shape for next year," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday night before the Bruins' 4-3 victory against the Thrashers. "It's likely that he'll be gone the whole year, maybe not, but he'll be ready for next year.

"It's been a chronic thing all year and Manny felt he couldn't perform at 100 percent. He had to alter his style. I'm not ruling out him coming back this year, but we're under the assumption that with proper rehab, it's going to take the rest of the year."

In four games this season, Fernandez went 2-2 with a 3.93 goals-against average.

Alex Auld is 3-0 since being acquired from Phoenix last week after starting goalie Tim Thomas was hurt, but Thomas is expected to return soon.