Olaf Kolzig, Tampa Bay's backup goalie, is out for the season after suffering a ruptured biceps tendon in his left arm.
Dr. Ben Shaffer, who has operated on Kolzig in the past, will perform the surgery Saturday in Washington, D.C.
Mike Smith, the starter, will be backed up by Riku Helenius from AHL Norfolk for now. Karri Rammo, who was called up from Norfolk on Monday, is going back to Norfolk to serve a six-game suspension he received after leaving the bench to join a fight, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Kolzig, 2-4-1 with a 3.66 GAA in eight games this season, said his catching hand became numb after making a save during practice Dec. 17. On a subsequent shot, he felt pain in the arm. He has not played in a game since Dec. 13.
The initial MRI exam showed a slight strain; however, a second MRI, taken after the Jan. 21 morning skate, showed a tendon tear of more than 50 percent, which is considered a rupture.
Kolzig, 37, will not be able to begin rehab until six weeks after the surgery, and recovery will take two to three months.
"After I get through the recovery, I'll see where I am in June and July and sit down and talk it over with my family," Kolzig, a former Vezina Trophy winner, said in the Tampa Tribune. "Last year I underwent hip surgery and that whole process, but the further I got away from the game the more I felt I had to give to the game."
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet welcomed Kolzig to stay with the team for the rest of the season, but Kolzig told the Tribune he is considering retirement.