Goalie Jose Theodore may have played his last game for the Florida Panthers.

Theodore will be out for 5-6 weeks with a torn groin, agent Don Meehan told the Sun Sentinel on Monday.

The season has seven weeks remaining, so Theodore would be available for the playoffs, which seems unlikely with the Panthers currently last in the Eastern Conference.

Theodore told Meehan that the groin won't require surgery. Theodore, 36, who is in the final year of his contract ($1.5 million), isn't expected back with the Panthers next season, but he still "wants to play and compete,'' his agent said.

Theodore , who is 4-6-3 with a 3.29 goals-against-average in 15 games (14 starts), is ranked 66th in GAA, and is last in the league among goalies with eight starts or more.

Theodore's injury apparently will signal the beginning of the Jacob Markstrom era.

Markstrom, 23, was recalled from San Antonio and had been expected to start Sunday against Carolina, but his equipment wasn't on the flight to Fort Lauderdale with him. Although the gear arrived on a later flight, Markstrom wasn't able to take his place on the Panthers' bench until late in the first period of the 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes.