The Canes likely will be without defenseman Joni Pitkanen when the upcoming season begins.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Tuesday that Pitkanen who suffered a broken heel bone in April needs more recovery time and will not be ready when preseason training camp begins Sept. 11. Pitkanen will have a CT scan in Raleigh on Thursday Rutherford said.

"We'll look at what our options are for a possible replacement for Joni if he's out a long time"

Rutherford said. "We don't know how long it's going to be that he'll be out. Will it be a couple of weeks a month a half a year a whole year? I don't know. ... But I'm getting prepared for the worst at this point.
"People have a lot of views about Joni but the fact of the matter is he played a lot of minutes. You take a guy out of the lineup that played that many minutes you really have to look at your defense. What (Canes coach) Kirk (Muller) may have to do is balance it our more."

Rutherford said in July that he had communicated with Pitkanen and that the veteran was optimistic that his rehab after surgery was on schedule and that he would be back skating and set for the start of camp. But Pitkanen's agent last week called to say there had been a setback that Pitkanen was not able to put any weight on his heel and has not skated.

Pitkanen was injured in an April 2 game against Washington as he attempted to touch up the puck for an icing call against the Caps. He lost an edge and went legs first into the boards breaking the left calcaneus bone in his heel.