Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo avoids surgery on right knee

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will miss two to four weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Head coach Bob Boughner announced the injury Monday, adding Luongo will not need surgery. The Panthers placed Luongo on injured reserve Sunday after he left their season opener Saturday night.

James Reimer will likely start Florida’s home opener Thursday against Columbus.

Watch Luongo sustain his injury:

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo left during the second period of Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, after teammate Frank Vatrano fell on his right leg. 1:11

Luongo started 33 games for Florida last season and went 18-11-2 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. He missed more than two months with a groin injury last season.

The 39-year-old is signed through the 2021-22 season at a salary cap hit of $5.3 million US.

Florida recalled goalie Michael Hutchinson from Springfield of the American Hockey League. Bougher says the Panthers are confident in Reimer because of his starting experience in the NHL.

Florida signed Hutchinson over the summer in an effort to stockpile goalie depth, a move Boughner says was critically important.

Hutchinson was 43-39-11 in 104 games over five seasons with Winnipeg.