PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two weeks after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his thyroid, Olli Maatta will return to the lineup tonight.
According to the Penguins' official website, Maatta confirmed the news after the team's morning skate in Montreal.
Maatta was initially expected to miss up to four weeks after the procedure. However, he was skating just a week after the successful surgery.
The announcement that Maatta would undergo surgery happened back on Oct. 27.
At the time, Maatta said he felt fine and he wasn't terribly worried about the procedure.
"I haven't really been that worried. I've been talking to doc a lot and the trainers trying to find out everything I can about the cancer. I know I'm going to be fine and I haven't really been that worried about it because I know we have a great medical staff here and they're going to take care of me," Maatta said.
Previously, team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas said the tumor was discovered during training camp.
"Thyroid tumors can be common in the young population. The way we found this in Olli is a simple examination that was done by one of our team physicians," Dr. Vyas said.
Dr. Vyas said follow-up testing led them to believe that there is an 85 percent chance the tumor is cancerous. Post-operation testing confirmed that the tumor was cancerous.
Through seven games this season, Maatta has one goal and four assists.
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