Panthers place Tim Thomas (groin) on IR

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The Florida Panthers placed Tim Thomas (groin) on the injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 12, the Miami Herald’s George Richards reports.

Richards points out that Thomas, 39, is eligible to return in a Dec. 20 game against the Winnipeg Jets. Naturally, that doesn’t mean he’ll be good to go by then, though.

Blame it on age or the rust that came with skipping the 2012-13 season (or a combination of the two factors), but Thomas has been hobbled by lower-body injuries this season. He missed four games in October and six more in November with lower-body ailments. At least one of the two problems were groin-related.

The Panthers have leaned heavily upon Thomas when he has been healthy. He played in all but one game from Nov. 9 to Dec. 10.

The Panthers recalled Jacob Markstrom on Thursday to fill the void. The big Swede will battle for reps with Scott Clemmensen.