Flyers Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach Jim McCrossin confirmed on Monday that Flyers captain and center Keith Primeau has sustained a concussion and is out of action indefinitely. Primeau did not play in the Flyers' 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night after not feeling well following a game in Carolina on October 28.
McCrossin also addressed Kim Johnsson's injury. Johnsson left Sunday's game in the first period with a pulled left groin and is listed as day-to-day.
The following is a transcript of an interview with McCrossin by Philadelphia Inquirer beat writer Tim Panaccio.
Is it a concussion? Jim McCrossin: "Yes, it is."
Have you placed a grade on it? McCrossin: "No, we have not placed a grade on it. Let me take a step back. It has been classified as a concussion, but it also has been classified as whiplash, too. It's a concussion, but he has whiplash-like symptoms. What I mean by that is, his [neck] muscles are real tight. We're currently working on that to try and relieve the tension in the muscles.
"The significance of that is twofold. One, it's causing irritation and can slow down your circulation. Second, is that the muscles at the neck go up into your head, and if they are tight, it's pulling down on that part of the head and can cause a headache. We're trying to relieve that symptom right now to see if it will relieve some of the headaches that Keith has been reporting."
Do you have a prognosis of how long he will miss? McCrossin: "No. We don't at this time. I do know that he will not be able to do anything for at least two days. At this time, the doctor…we would just like him to go out and take some walks just to make sure that he feels better and the symptoms begin to subside. At this time, there is no date of return."
Are you treating this as his first concussion or just one of multiple concussions? McCrossin: "That's a real good question. We're treating it, as this is a numerous concussion. To say that this would be his first concussion of the season, you really couldn't say that. Each of the concussions that Keith has had, it's almost been like a delayed onset. We're closely monitoring him and I'm in touch with Keith more than probably his wife is (laughs)."
How many can he sustain where you would say to him, 'I think it's dangerous for you to play again?' McCrossin: "Again, that is a tough one to answer. Each and every one of them, as you know, are different. They grade concussions. I spoke with Dr. [Gary] Dorshimer today, and at this time, there wasn't a grade put on it. But, the original question was, how many can he sustain? Well, that goes into an individual basis and that is beyond my scope. That's why we have experts in the field and that's why we're monitoring his symptoms daily. Hopefully, this one will be the last one he ever has, but with our sport, that is probably highly unlikely. I wish I could answer that. I'd be lying to you to say that at six we're going to call it quits. That's where Dr. Dorshimer and all the different doctors will have to make a decision. Obviously, Keith's self is our number one priority. There's life after hockey."
Did he go through the testing [Monday]? McCrossin: "Yes, he did. He's going to be tested again in one week if the symptoms clear. He'll see Dr. Dorshimer Thursday night at the game, so he will have follow up there. I'll be in touch with Dr. Dorshimer and Dr. [Gerri] McGuinnis on a daily basis."
So, we don't know where he's at right now in terms of long-term damage? McCrossin: "No. We know where he tested, and I know what Dr. Dorshimer found. However, in terms of damage done, I don't know if anybody can actually tell you that. I don't know."
What exactly are his symptoms? McCrossin: "He does have headaches. He does have really tight [neck] muscles. He's got a headache going across the frontal portion of his head, right where the sinus would be. He doesn't have any nausea, but when he lies down he feels like he's spinning. He also said that his eyes feel dizzy. He may be focusing, but the eyes are kind of going back and forth. Things are in focus, but his eyes fatigue quickly."
What is the status of Kim Johnsson? McCrossin: "He came in today and was a little sore, and he's going to start rehabbing tomorrow. It's going to be day-to-day. We're going to evaluate him daily. I'm hoping that we can get him back by Thursday, but if not, maybe by Saturday."