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Possible Surgery for Rostislav Olesz ... Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning ... Craig Anderson IN

OleszRostislav Olesz is going to see a specialist in Philadelphia next week to see where he stands with what he's now calling an abductor injury.

Word I'm hearing is that Rusty has a sports hernia injury and surgery is expected.

A lot of athletes have this surgery, with the recovery time of about a month to six weeks. The Panthers would like Olesz to get this done as quick as possible so he can begin rehab and get back on the ice sometime in late February or early March. Of course, if it is his hip abductor, then he won't need sports hernia surgery. That's why he's going to see a specialist.

Found some interesting things regarding this type of injury online. Here's something from Medicalmoment.org:

Groin pain is most commonly caused by muscle and tendon strains of muscles crossing the hip joint. It also can be related to abnormalities within the abdominal wall.

“Typically in these cases, MRIs or X-rays are normal, so it’s a difficult diagnosis to make,” he said. “It’s a good idea to see someone who is an expert in the field.”

According to Dr. Cattey, a sports hernia is a muscle tear that comes after repeated exercise or training. It can take an athlete out of contention for extended periods of time. Traditional surgery was once the only treatment for this condition. Now, a less invasive surgery can get athletes back to their game quicker and with minimal pain during recovery.

“The two sports most commonly affected are soccer and hockey, in that order, because those sports are hardest on that area of the body. You’re opening up your hips to either kick a soccer ball or to skate. Actually, it could happen in any sport that puts a lot of pressure on that area.”

-- Panthers in the second game of a back-to-back set tonight in Tampa Bay. Bolts have won four of their past six, Panthers have done the same -- getting points in all six games (4-0-2).

I jumped the gun in my story last night saying the Panthers moved into a tie for eighth in the East; I totally overlooked Pittsburgh playing (and winning) when I checked the scores on NHL.com last night.

So, anyway, the Penguins are now in eighth, Florida in ninth a point out.

Florida can move past the Pens and into eighth with a win tonight, but the Panthers probably want Buffalo to beat Carolina tonight and do so in regulation. The Panthers and Hurricanes are tied for second in the Southeast and ninth in the east, although Florida has two games in hand on Carolina. A Buffalo win and a Panthers win would keep a two-point differential, although Florida has three more games against the Bison (including one Monday) this season.

-- Not making the trek to Tampa today, Marlins beat man Clark Spencer on the case from the west coast. Will be checking in with him tonight and have updates right here as usual. Asked Pete DeBoer about who would start in net tonight and he said he hadn't thought about it.

UPDATE: It's Andy. First start since losing to Montreal in shootout on Jan. 4.

-- Also, here is some postgame video from last night, compliments of your friends at The Miami Herald...