No internal damage after Vokoun struck by Ballard's stick Staff

12/1/2009 3:36:19 PM

Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun suffered no internal or neurological damage when hit with the stick of Keith Ballard in Monday's loss to the Atlanta Thrashers.
After Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the Thrashers, Ballard went to swing his stick at the goal post when it accidentally hit Vokoun on the side of the mask. Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher but later flew home on the team plane.
Vokoun stopped by Panthers' practice on Tuesday and head coach Peter DeBoer said he doesn't expect his goalie to be out for too long.
''Whenever he can get a helmet (mask) on, I think he,ll play. That's kind of (the talk) around the dressing room here and amongst our training staff,'' DeBoer said on the team's website. ''It's in an uncomfortable spot to put a goalie mask on. As soon as we can rig something up to get his helmet on around the stitches, he'll be ready to play, whether that's Wednesday, Thursday or the weekend, it won't be long term.''