By Sarah Berkowitz
It’s a little awkward when Flyers management and a key player who hasn’t played all season are on different pages about his comeback.
Or in different books!
Flyers coach Craig Berube was waxing happily before last night’s game about how excited he is about defenseman Kimmo Timonen returning.
No final decision has been made on whether the four-time All-Star will attempt a comeback or not from a career-threatening blood clots illness that was discovered last August, Flyers GM Ron Hextall said about 90 minutes later after asking to talk to reporters.
A few minutes after Berube’s comments showed up in the media, Timonen heard about them and contacted the Flyers right away.
His conversation with a Flyers executive went something like this, Hextall said.
“I’m coming back?” Timonen asked.
“What do you mean?” a Flyers exec responded.
“Well, it’s on TV,” Timonen said.
After sharing that short exchange, Hextall said, “That’s how I found out. So Kimmo and myself don’t know that Kimmo’s coming back.”
Told Berube sure made it sound like Timonen was returning, Hextall said, “Apparently he knows more than I know. I don’t know. I don’t know how a question was asked. You guys will have to ask Chief that. There’s nothing definitive on Kimmo Timonen.”
Asked if a report that Timonen was trying on skates at Skate Zone earlier this week was true, Hextall said, “I have no idea. But the fact that he’s confused by the report coming out …”
Timonen hasn’t even been medically cleared to play yet, Hextall said.
“There has to be a form signed and that form has not been signed,” the GM said.
Earlier this month, Hextall said that Timonen’s blood clots in his lungs were gone but that they still existed in his right calf.
A final decision on Timonen returning, Hextall predicted, could come as soon as Saturday. Meantime, doctors will continue to discuss Timonen’s medical reports.
“It’s a lot of things, but it’s still the medical information and sifting your way through it,” Hextall said. “It’s not a simple process. It’s very complex and to try to understand everything that’s going on with the blood disorder and with Kimmo has to go through. There’s a lot to it.
“It’s certainly the most complex medical thing that I’ve ever been there and it’s enough to make me dizzy, quite frankly. So we all want to be on the same page and understand where it’s at. Once that happens, we’ll come out with a decision. And it’s not going to be (Friday). It may be in the next couple of days.”