Tomas Vokoun off blood thinners, will resume skating Wednesday

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Tomas Vokoun is taking positive steps in his recovery from surgery to remove a blood clot. (USATSI)
Tomas Vokoun is taking positive steps in his recovery from surgery to remove a blood clot. (USATSI)

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Tomas Vokoun's road to recovery took a very positive step recently when the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender was taken off blood thinners. The 37-year-old veteran had a blood clot on his pelvis removed in October and was expected to be out 3-6 months while recovering. It's been nearly four months since his surgery.

Now that Vokoun has been off the blood thinners for a week, he will resume skating as early as Wednesday. He won't be able to take shots yet, but this is certainly a very positive sign for Vokoun being able to come back. According to Dan Bylsma, if his health remains stable, Vokoun can get back to trying to stop some pucks in practice at least.

The Penguins backup goaltender, who stepped in as starter last postseason, has not played a regular-season game this year. He discovered swelling on his thigh during a Penguins preseason practice and was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with the blood clot.

Last season, Vokoun went 13-4-0 in 20 regular-season appearances with the Penguins, posting a .919 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average. He wrested starting duties away from Marc-Andre Fleury during the playoffs and went 6-5-1 in the postseason, with a .933 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against average.

Fleury has been solid enough this season as the Penguins continue to lead the Metropolitan Division by a wide margin.

There doesn't appear to be a definitive timetable for Vokoun's return, but it is certainly good to hear he's making his way back from a very scary ailment.

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