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Carolina goalie turns down surgery

RALEIGH, N.C., March 20 (UPI) -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Kevin Weekes has decided against season-ending hand surgery, delaying the procedure until after the regular season.

Weekes, who wrested the starting job away from Arturs Irbe earlier this season, was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday. He was injured in Tuesday's loss to Ottawa, when he allowed six goals on 24 shots.

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"After discussions with team physicians, Kevin has opted to delay his surgery until after the season is complete," Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford said.

Weekes has posted 14-21-8 record with a 2.45 goals-against average and .919 save percentage.

When it was thought that Weekes would miss the remainder of the season, the Hurricanes recalled Irbe from Lowell of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. He was waived Feb. 8 but went unclaimed.

Irbe spent the last month with Lowell of the American Hockey League after clearing waivers, posting a 3-3-1 record and a 2.95 GAA.

After an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season with Irbe playing most of the games, the Hurricanes officially were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday.

Irbe will not be sent back to the minor leagues after the team announced Thursday that backup Patrick DesRochers will miss the rest of the season with a fracture in his right elbow.

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