Niittymaki out three months

Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki deflects the puck away from the goal in a game against the...

Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki deflects the puck away from the goal in a game against the Oilers in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 13, 2011. (CHAD ZIEMENDORF/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 3:54 AM ET

SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki will miss the next 12 weeks after lower body surgery.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Niittymaki had a procedure in southern California to erase pain that he has been having as a result of a lower body injury last season.

The backup to Antti Niemi last season, Niittymaki went 12-7-3 with a 2.72 goals against average in 24 games.

Over seven seasons in the NHL, the 31-year-old Finland native has played in 234 games and is 95-86-31 with five shutouts and a 2.95 GAA with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and San Jose.

Thomas Greiss will serve as San Jose's backup until Niittymaki can return to play.


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