Sports Outside the Beltway

Atlanta Thrasher Goalie Kari Lehtonen out for 6 to 8 weeks

He is having his second back surgery for 2009. From AP-

Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected to miss six to eight weeks after having a second surgery on his back.

Lehtonen has not played this season after having surgery July 20 to repair a herniated disc.

The team said Wednesday that Lehtonen had another surgery Friday in Rochester, N.Y., to remove edges of bone that were applying pressure to nerve roots in his back at two locations.

Ondrej Pavelec has been a more than decent job in goal. In addition the Thrashers have been without the services of star winger Ilya Kovalchuk for most of this season. Atlanta isn’t slumping with these injuries, they are 6-4-1 at present.

Lehtonen’s back problems may put his career at risk. The 2nd overall pick of the 2002 NHL entry draft hasn’t played to the level Atlanta hoped for when they drafted Lehtonen so high.

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