Panthers G Luongo likely out until February

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who hasn’t played since December 4, is likely to be sidelined until February.

Luongo was carried off the ice in the second period of a 5-4 shootout loss against the New York Islanders on Dec. 4 with a lower-body injury.

He is 6-6-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage in 15 games.

“I would probably guess that we’re not going to see him play, because of the (five-day schedule break) in January, I would say to be completely honest, probably the beginning of February,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said of projecting Luongo’s next appearance in net. “But that could change any day and we’re sort of taking it day by day.”

James Reimer has started in Luongo’s absence and is 7-5 with two shutouts.

Boughner said there is no plan to push Luongo back and he could be spelled regularly even after he’s cleared.

Luongo, 38, has 459 career wins and 74 shutouts. The totals place him first among active NHL goaltenders.

“He is on the road with us right now,” Boughner said. “He is rehabbing. There are good days and bad days. He went through a stretch there where he was really progressing well. In the last week he had a little bit of soreness so we are sort of backing off. We want him to come back 100 percent, not 90 percent, so we are going to be very careful with him.”

–Field Level Media

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