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Timonen out for several months

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, alongside Kimmo Timonen called a press conference late Thursday afternoon to discuss the defenseman's health and injury update to reporters.

"I wish we were here to announce that Kimmo was here to continue his career but we're going to announce neither," said Hextall.

"We've been through a process here with our doctors and medical staff where we really don't have any definitive answers. The one definitive we have is that Kimmo will not play for a period of time here, meaning months, and we'll have a follow up appointment somewhere probably early in the new year."

This was the first statement made by the Flyers since August 5 when Hextall announced that Timonen had been diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and in both lungs while back in his home country of Finland.

Timonen returned to the US a few weeks later and had been working out at the practice facility while seeing doctors.

As far as a return, Timonen will at least be out of action through the first 40 games of the season, if not more, but that doesn't mean he will be doing what he can in rehab to get back to playing.

"My desire is that I want to play, but the chances of playing is really slim. That's the facts," said Timonen. "But I'm ready to wait that chance and see how I feel. I've been seeing a lot of doctors and they have different opinions about it."

During his seven seasons with the Flyers, Timonen has won five Barry Ashbee trophies as the team’s best defenseman, including the last three in a row.

He has appeared in 519 of a possible 540 games for the Flyers over the past seven seasons, never missing more than six games in a season. Timonen ranks third all-time among Flyers defensemen in points (270) and assists (232), T-8 in goals (38, with Jim Watson), and 10th in games played (519). He was recognized for his 1,000th career NHL game in March 2013.

In the meantime, Timonen will continue to be involved in the Flyers, but his first priority is to his family.

"Even if it sounds crazy, I'm still focused on maybe getting that chance [of returning], but I'm going to travel with my son who plays hockey and be a coach," added Timonen.

"First and foremost as an organization, we’re concerned about Kimmo, his health, his family. And then secondly comes the hockey part. We would never put him in danger," said Hextall. "On the other hand, if we feel at that point that he is capable of playing, we will certainly welcome him back later in the year, assuming things go as we hope."

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