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Cervenka to consult with hematology specialist, Iginla & Babchuk miss Sunday's skate

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- While the Calgary Flames are optimistic about Roman Cervenka's medical status heading into the 2013 season, the forward has not been cleared to skate due to anticoagulant medication he is currently taking.

"Roman's blood clot, it appears, is no longer present," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said on Sunday. "The blood clot has resolved. But Roman has been on anticoagulant medication and basically, what our doctors have said, is that there is a prescribed period of time that you have to remain on that medication. It doesn't matter how you're feeling or whether the blood clot is or is not present."

The Flames will have Cervenka consult with a hematology specialist in the USA, hopefully within the next week, to determine how long Czech pivot must remain on his current medication.

"As soon as he's free to come off the anticoagulant medication, then he will be cleared to skate," Feaster confirmed. "The medication that he's on doesn't put him at an increased risk of injury or anything but because it's an anticoagulant, we can't have him getting cut and bleeding. We also don't want to have him getting hit and have any internal bleeding."

The Flames were also without defenceman Anton Babchuk and captain Jarome Iginla on Sunday.

Babchuk, who played with Donbass HC during the work stoppage, suffered a shoulder injury during his stint in the KHL. The Flames medical staff feels the shoulder is strong given there is history of past injury but he is expected to miss three weeks with the malady.

Iginla was kept out of practice with a tight groin. The move was precautionary as the team wanted the issue to settle before the forward hits the ice.

"Rather than have Jarome out there pushing, because we know that he would, we told Jarome we didn't want him to skate today," Feaster said. "It's nothing that we're concerned about. It's just that we don't want to push right now when we don't think there is a reason to do that."

The issue appeared last week, according to Iginla, during a skate at WinSport.

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