Report: Sharks' Niittymaki out 12 weeks after hip surgery Staff

9/22/2011 11:18:45 PM

The San Jose Sharks may no longer have a decision to make on who will start in goal to open the season.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, goaltender Antero Niittymaki is out for up to 12 weeks after undergoing hip surgery. The Finnish netminder missed 17 games last season with a lower body injury.

Last year's starter Antti Niemi is not completely healthy yet after having a cyst removed before training camp but team officials are confident he will be ready to play in time for the team's first regualr season game on October 8.

Back-up Thomas Greiss, who signed a two-year deal with the team this summer, will the bulk of the action during the pre-season until Niemi is ready to return.