(Pittsburgh, PA) – Flyers all-star defenseman Kimmo Timonen
will be out of the lineup indefinitely with a blood clot in his left foot, club General Manager Paul Holmgren confirmed via conference call on Thursday evening.
The Flyers begin the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins
on Friday night at Mellon Arena (7:30 p.m., Versus, MOJO HD).
Timonen was hit with a shot by Montreal’s Andrei Markov late in Game 4 of the Flyers’ second round series with the Canadiens. He played through the pain in Game 5, but felt numbness in the foot throughout this week.
He was given an MRI on Wednesday that did not reveal anything, but a vascular surgeon, Dr. Ronald Fairman at the University of Pennsylvania, on Thursday found a small blood clot. Timonen will go on blood thinners, but his return for the series against Pittsburgh is doubtful.
“We have to view this as he’s not a player for us in this series and we have to march on,” said Holmgren. “We have to deal with it. It gives somebody else an opportunity to step up. Obviously you can’t replace a player who does what Kimmo does for us.”
“It’s a huge disappointment, obviously,” said Timonen via a separate conference call. “I wasn’t expecting this result. It’s the most disappointing thing in my life, hockey wise.”
Timonen asked the doctor what the risks were of trying to play through the injury.
“He said if you get hit there again, the blood clot might break up and go down to your toes and then we’d have to cut off your toes. That’s not a very good scenario.”
The only hope for Timonen to return this season, he said, is that if a follow up visit to the doctor at the end of next week shows that the blood thinners are working more quickly than expected.
In 12 playoff games, the 33-year-old blueliner has six assists and a +5 rating.