Pitkanen doesn't expect to be back soon

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

Joni Pitkanen tried to keep his upper lip half as stiff as his right knee yesterday.

The Oilers defencemen would dearly love to come back and help the hockey club, but he doesn't expect to be back in the lineup any time soon.

"They're saying like three to four weeks," shrugged Pitkanen, limping through the dressing room with a set of fresh stitches from last Friday's arthroscopic surgery . "I hope I can try to bike this week and go day to day from there. See how I feel."

Pitkanen hasn't played since the knee started giving him trouble late in the Oct. 20 game in Calgary.

"I think it was Matthew Lombardi coming one on one and I dropped to my knees and I felt something," he said. "I played one shift after that. After the game it was pretty sore and the next day it was really sore."

So they went in with the scope and cleaned things up - nothing serious, but it's still going to take a while before he's back up to NHL speed.

"It was what they expected. It wasn't a big thing. They shaved the meniscus. It took about 20 minutes. It's getting better every day."

The hard part is watching the Oilers try and soldier on with so many veterans out of the lineup.

"It's disappointing, but what are you going to do, "he said. "You get your knee back to healthy and come back. It happens.

"But it's always tough when you get hurt and can't play. It's tough to watch."


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