Flyers G Niittymaki suffers torn labrum during practice

Updated: September 26, 2006, 8:13 PM ET news services

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Antero Niittymaki on Tuesday suffered a torn labrum in his left hip during a morning practice session.

Antero Niittymaki

Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said an MRI confirmed the tear and the team forwarded the results to a doctor in Tennessee to determine if surgery is necessary.

"We won't know if surgery is necessary until [Wednesday] afternoon," Clarke said. "If surgery is necessary, it will be six to eight weeks before he is back playing."

The 26-year-old Niittymaki had a stellar rookie season with the Flyers with a 23-15-6 record and 2.97 goals-against average. The 23 victories tied for third among rookie goaltenders and were the most by a Flyers netminder since Ron Hextall notched 37 victories during the 1986-87 season.

In two seasons with the Flyers, Niittymaki, a former member of Finland's national team, has compiled a 26-15-6 record, 2.84 GAA and .899 save percentage in 49 regular-season games. Niittymaki, who had surgery on his right hip following last season, was competing with Robert Esche to be the Flyers' No. 1 goalie in the new season that begins next week.

The Flyers recalled goaltender Martin Houle from their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms. He was expected to be available for Tuesday's home preseason game against the Washington Capitals.

Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.