Report: Former NHLer Pitkanen eyes comeback in native Finland

After suffering a horrific ankle injury 2 1/2 years ago, former NHL defenseman Joni Pitkanen told a Finnish newspaper that he can still play the game at a high level.
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Former NHL defenseman Joni Pitkanen told the Finnish newpaper Ilta-Sanomat that he is looking to resume his hockey-playing career.

Just over 2 1/2 years removed from injuring his ankle while chasing down a loose puck, Pitkanen told the newspaper that his rehab has progressed to the point where he feels he can take a shot at playing with his former club, Karpat Oulu of SM-League.

“At this point, the only sure thing is that I join Karpat strength training,” the 32-year-old told Ilta-Sanomat. “My aim is to test how the (foot) takes practice. If it lasts well, it is possible to play during the current period.”

Pitkanen, who last played with the Carolina Hurricanes, suffered his injury before the NHL adopted hybrid icing.

The fourth overall pick of the 2002 draft, Pitkanen collected 57 goals and 225 assists in 535 career contests with the Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers and Hurricanes.

(h/t Yahoo! Sports)