The Carolina Hurricanes were hoping to have Joni Pitkanen back in the lineup soon after the NHL All-Star break.

That's not going to happen, general manager Jim Rutherford said Tuesday.

Rutherford said Pitkanen, the Canes' most skilled defenseman, might not return until early March. Pitkanen suffered a concussion during a Dec. 6 road game against the Calgary Flames, then had knee surgery Jan. 3.

After the surgery, the Hurricanes said Pitkanen would need about four weeks to rehabilitate the knee. But his recovery apparently is going slower then expected.