Pekka Rinne is getting closer to being ready for training camp, which starts Sept. 11.
The Predators goaltender was on the ice Tuesday morning with teammates before informal team drills began. It was his second day in a row facing pucks while in net. Last week he resumed skating for the first time since offseason hip surgery.
“I’m feeling good and everything is going well, in the right direction. I’m still progressing, lot of rehab, still in rehab mode. My leg feels stronger every day,” said Rinne when he stepped off the ice. He was one of 18 Predators players to hit the ice Tuesday.
Although Rinne is inching closer to 100 percent health, he still needs to be cleared by doctors to resume full hockey activities. On Tuesday he did not attempt to make any saves on the ice in the butterfly position – not because he can’t do it, but, as he put it, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Rinne will be visiting with a doctor Thursday. If all goes well he could be cleared.
“Hopefully something good happens on Thursday,” he said. “We’ll see. I’m hopeful I can start going down on the ice. So far everything has been more under control, standing up and facing pucks, trying to get the timing back. I hope by next week I can start doing the usual stuff out there.
“I just want to be 100 percent when the season starts. I’m not too worried about training camp.”
Rinne played through the hip injury last season and underwent surgery on May 9, less than two weeks after the regular season. He was initially given a recovery timeframe of four months; next Monday, Sept. 9, is the end of that timeframe.
“It’s been a long rehab,” he said, “so it’s great to be back on the ice.”