Pittsburgh Penguins: Olli Maatta To Undergo Surgery To Remove Tumor From Thyroid Gland


The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Monday afternoon that Olli Maatta, 20, is set to undergo surgery next week to remove a tumor from his neck that could be a low-grade thyroid cancer.

“Even if it is found to be cancerous, we do not expect that he will need radiation Olli will have surgery to remove the tumor,” Pens team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas told the assembled media at Consol Energy Center. “Even if it is found to be cancerous, we do not expect that he will need radiation or chemotherapy, and we anticipate a complete recovery. In all likelihood, Olli will go on to live a healthy life and this should not affect his ability to play hockey long-term.”

Vyas said he will likely be able to return to the lineup within four weeks, and that the the tumor was discovered during pre-season physicals by UPMC physician Dr. Eric Anish. Doctors ran multiple tests before reaching their diagnosis.

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The 6-foot-2, 206-pound defenseman from Jyväskylä, Finland, who is in his second season, has been cleared to play until the time of the surgery.

The former first round draft pick of the Penguins at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has one goal and four assists for five points in seven games this season, including two points in the past two contests. Maatta is averaging 20:12 of ice time.

The Black and Gold are back at CONSOL Energy Center on Tuesday to take on the New Jersey Devils (4-2-2, 10 points). The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.