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Pens not expecting Malkin back this year; no word on surgery

Associated Press

2/6/2011 12:15:57 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Penguins aren't planning to have Evgeni Malkin back this season.

Coach Dan Bylsma nodded his head yes Sunday when asked if he was preparing as if the injured all-star centre won't return until the fall.

Malkin tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee when he collided with defenceman Tyler Myers in the second period of Friday night's win over Buffalo. It was Malkin's first game back after sitting out five games with a knee problem and a sinus infection.

Bylsma said it hasn't been determined whether Malkin will have an operation or will try to rehabilitate the knee without surgery. Surgery would definitely rule Malkin out for the season.

"Even with (just) rehab, I'm not sure what the prognosis would be," Bylsma said before Sunday's game against the Washington Capitals.

The Penguins are already missing some major star power at the centre position. Sidney Crosby is out with a concussion and his return date is uncertain. Mark Letestu is out four to six weeks with a knee injury.

The Penguins added some needed manpower by recalling forward Tim Wallace from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.