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Predators sending Pekka Rinne to Milwaukee for games in next step toward goaltender's return

The Nashville Predators are sending goaltender Pekka Rinne to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee for games Friday and Sunday in the latest step in his recovery from an E. coli infection in his surgically repaired left hip.

The Predators announced that Rinne will be traveling Wednesday to Milwaukee after practicing in Nashville.

Coach Barry Trotz says they will be monitoring Rinne after each practice and game. The Predators start a five-game home stand Thursday night, and Rinne could rejoin them depending on how he fares in Milwaukee.

Rinne says he's really looking forward to what he calls a big day.

He has been sidelined since Oct. 24 for an infection in the hip surgically repaired May 9. Rinne is 4-4-1 in the nine games he has played this season.