By Mary Cunningham
Here are the chances that Kimmo Timonen will play this year for the Flyers:
Slim and none, and my money is on none.
Diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs in early August, the veteran defenseman admitted Thursday that the chances of a return to the ice are “really slim,” but that he hasn’t yet given up hope — even though he’s going to have to wait a while to find out his fate.
“I’m just trying to stay in shape moving forward and see if there’s a chance for me to come back, which is slim,” Timonen said. “But I still keep that little chance in my mind, that there might be a chance.”
The only certainty in Timonen’s future is that the 39-year-old will not be returning before the new year. He is on blood-thinners now and will be through at least the end of 2014. Likely, the Flyers won’t have a true update on his status until January, when he’ll once again undergo ultrasounds and CT scans to track his progress.
He will not play hockey if he has to stay on the medication, Timonen said. And because every individual responds to treatment differently, there’s no way to know how he’ll feel four or five months from now. He might still have blood clots. He might be in a position to work toward a return.
Timonen — and his teammates and coaches — are just going to have to wait.
“Whether Kimmo will play or not, we don’t know at this point,” general manager Ron Hextall said. “It will be more of a wait and see how the clots have cleared up, and then move along the process from there. First and foremost, as an organization, we’re concerned about Kimmo, his health, his family, and secondly comes the hockey part. We would never put him in danger.”