Flyers: Pitkänen Should Return for Playoffs

By Bill Meltzer

Flyers General Manager Bob Clarke reports today that the organization does not expect its top prospect, Joni Pitkänen, to miss the Finnish playoffs because of a knee sprain that has kept him out of action all of this month.

Clarke, speaking to Flyers beat writer and syndicated columnist Rob Parent, said that the organization fully expects projections of Pitkänen returning to action just in time for the Finnish playoffs to hold true. Clarke added that while he was not sure which knee was involved in the recent injury, the reports received by the team were encouraging.

Confirmed reports from Finland state that the sprain is not to the knee on which Pitkänen underwent arthroscopic surgery last summer.

According to Finnish reporter Juha-Pekka Luoma, the player himself stated several weeks ago that he thought it would be about a 4-to-6 week injury. However, a report from a source close to, but not directly involved with ,the Kärpät Oulu team, says that Pitkänen himself has recently expressed doubts about playing again this season.

Hockey’s Future will update the situation when further relevant details become available.