After missing four months from a hip infection, goalie Pekka Rinne finally returned to practice with the Nashville Predators Wednesday.
Rinne said he is healthy, but it is a matter of working himself into game shape and most important getting the green light from the medical staff before he plays again.
If he does return to action Rinne is expected to spend some time with AHL affiliate Milwaukee and Rinne said he had no objections to that course of action.
It was the Predators first practice after taking a nine day break for the Winter Olympics and Rinne participated in almost all of it.
Head coach Barry Trotz said it was great to have “the big guy” back out there and how much and hard he works is up to Rinne and how he feels.
The Predators were expecting to lean heavily on Rinne this season, but he played only nine games before the E. coli infection took him out of action.
Since then the Preds have received inconsistent play from Carter Hutton, Marek Mazanec and Devon Dubnyk and find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference's playoff picture.