By Michael Donovan

So, it turns out that the “upper body” injury fragile Flyers rookie Nolan Patrick suffered on Oct. 24 is really a concussion.

When exactly did the brain become part of the “upper body?”

And why do we accept this lie from the Flyers and the rest of the NHL when every single ding on the Sixers is breathlessly reported as the end of history as we know it?

Well, yesterday, 16 days after Patrick’s head was bounced off the boards, he skated with assistant coach Ian Laperriere for the second time in three days.

Patrick practiced the day after the hit and appeared close to returning two days after that, when the Flyers were in Toronto, but general manager Ron Hextall stopped short of saying the progress isn’t linear.

“I don’t know about setbacks,” Hextall said. “It’s taken longer than we thought, certainly hoped, but he skated (Thursday) and everything went good. He felt good, he worked out. Now it’s a matter of starting to ramp him up. You can’t just go from zero to 60, it’s gotta be zero to 20 and then up so he’ll go a little harder (Friday) and hopefully continues to progress.”

“It’s my first time I’ve ever had anything like this kind of injury before so it’s a lot of protocol things you have to go through,” Patrick said back on Oct. 27, the day before the Toronto game. “I think the league is pretty big on that kind of stuff now.”

The hope is that Patrick can start practicing with the team again shortly and go on the road trip that begins Monday. The Flyers will go to St. Paul, Minnesota, and then Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is Patrick’s hometown.