Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/08/08 at 08:02 PM ET
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was diagnosed with a blood clot in his left ankle today. He will be out for the remainder of the playoffs.
The diagnosis was made at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Timonen said.
“I got hit with a shot in Game 4 against Montreal,” said Timonen, 33. “It’s been getting sorer and sorer every day. We thought we’d get it checked out because it didn’t get better and they found a blood clot.
added 8:35pm, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren answered some questions today from the media regarding Timonen…
added 9:12pm , Kimmo Timonen answers some questions and the answers are below.
Q: When did this happen?
Holmgren: “Kimmo (Timonen) was hit with a shot in Game 4 against Montreal. Obviously he played in Game 5 and it continued to bother him. We had an MRI done on him and followed up with a visit to a vascular surgeon (University of Pennsylvania Health System Vascular Surgeon Dr. Ronald M. Fairman, MD) today. There is a blot clot right on the front of his left foot right about where he ties his skates. It’s a quite serious thing. He is on blood thinners and he is not going to be available.”
Q: For how long?
Holmgren: “There is some hope that in a week’s time there might be some improvement, but we will have to see how that goes.”
Q: When was he first evaluated?
Holmgren: “In the training room just like it was a bruise. He was first evaluated yesterday with an MRI, which really didn’t show much. We followed it up to ease Kimmo’s mind and that is when the doctor found a small blood clot. It’s such a funny area that if he ever gets hit there again a lot of problems could arise.
Q: This has to be a crushing blow to your team.
Holmgren: “It is what it is. We have to deal with it. It gives somebody else an opportunity to step up. Everybody else is going to have to do a bigger part and we will see what happens. Obviously you can’t replace a player that does what Kimmo does for us. Somebody else is going to have to step up and the team is gong to have to do a better job of dealing with it.”
Q: Does Jaroslav Modry come back in the lineup now?
Holmgren: “Obviously the two choices are Modry or (Ryan) Parent. I really have not talked to (Flyers Head Coach) John (Stevens) about that, so I don’t know.”
Q: Did Kimmo first complain about this after Game 4?
Holmgren: “It was right at the end of the game and we treated it like you do any other blocked shot in that area, you put ice on it and try to keep the swelling down. I know he played with it in Game 5 and he was complaining about it, but whatever they do to get to play they did and he played very well obviously. It’s continued to bother him more and more each day since that time. We ruled out any kind of a fracture and we started to get him checked out and this is what it comes to.”
Q: Can you describe the size of the blood clot?
Holmgren: “No, I can’t. I don’t know. A blood clot is a blood clot and anytime you are talking about a blood clot, it’s serious. That is why we are dealing with it like we are.”
Q: You said that there was a possibility that he could come back, what medical procedure are you following now?
Holmgren: “Well I don’t know if there is any medical procedure other than right now he is going to be taking some anti-coagulant or blood thinners. The doctor’s feeling is that this will resolve itself over a period of time. How long a period of a time remains to be seen.”
Q: You brought up hope that he could be coming back in…
Holmgren: “I think that might be more of Kimmo’s hope more than anything, which is admirable. Right now we have to view this as he is not a player for us for this series and we are going to have to march on.”
Q: When was the MRI done?
Holmgren: “The MRI was done yesterday.”
Q: When did Kimmo get hit?
Holmgren: “It was late in the game. It was (Andrei) Markov’s shot. I don’t know the time, I know it was late in Game 4.”
Q: Did the doctor give any sort of percentage chance of him being able to come back?
Holmgren: “I didn’t really speak with the doctor. When they first told him that this should clear up within a month or two, in that time frame, and he would be fine, but Kimmo did some how get some glimmer of hope that who knows. They just don’t know how quickly the clot is going to respond to the medicine that he is going to be taking. I think right now it’s right where he laces up his skates. Like I said, I am not going to hold out any hope that he will be back in this series and we will just see after that. If he came back, obviously that would be a hug bonus.”
Q: What is your reaction to what has happened?
Timonen: “Hugely disappointed obviously. I was not expecting to get this result this morning. It’s the most disappointing thing in my hockey life for sure.
Q: What are the doctors telling you?
Timonen: “It’s a blood clot. They were able to see it really well. They were thinking about a couple of options, either having surgery and try to remove it, but the best option for me I think is going on clot thinners and hopefully those things help.”
Q: Are they telling you how long it might take for the blood clot to thin out?
Timonen: “Nobody knows that, but I started today and we are going to have a check up at the end of next week. Nobody really knows. It’s probably individual how that blood thinner works.”
Q: Emotionally what is this like for you?
Timonen: “It’s an awful feeling. I was expecting to play tomorrow and you go into the hospital to make sure everything is all right and come out knowing that the season is over pretty much. How many times in your life do you get the chance to play in the Conference Finals and maybe the Stanley Cup Finals? So it is the most disappointing moment in my life hockey wise.”
Q: Your team has overcome injuries before. You have been a real key to your team’s success. What do you see happening here?
Timonen: “Exactly like you said, we had some key guys out of the lineup the whole year and now hopefully somebody can take my role. I am sure there is going to be somebody playing really well. I am just hoping this is not a huge distraction for the team because now we are talking about the (Eastern) Conference Finals and hopefully those guys can focus on winning the game tomorrow. I am sure everybody is really focused and ready to go tomorrow.”
Q: How big is the clot?
Timonen: “I was not able to see. It is noticeable, but I cannot say how big it is.”
Q: You have been through a similar injury like this before in Nashville haven’t you?
Timonen: “Like five years ago in a similar situation, I got hit by the puck, same ankle. A lot of pain came and there was a blood clot.”
Q: Do you remember when this injury happened in the game?
Timonen: “It happened the last shift of the game. I think we were killing a penalty or it was 6-on-5 and I think it was (Andrei) Markov who shot it from the point and it hit my ankle.”
Q: What did they do after that?
Timonen: “We treated it like it was a normal bone bruise and it felt like it too. We iced it down and did the exact same thing we do with this kind of injury. In Game 5 in Montreal, I started feeling a little numbness in my toes and I was able to play through it that game and it was a little painful. Sunday we had a day off and Monday we practiced, same kind of feeling, a little numbness on my toes and Tuesday we had a day off and yesterday same kind of feeling and we decided to do a check up and see what is going on there and today we found out.”
Q: Did you have any idea, with a past similar injury, that this could be what it was?
Timonen: “Not at all because last time when I had it five years ago it was really painful, I couldn’t sleep at night and this time I have been sleeping pretty well. This has not been as painful at all like it was five years ago. I wasn’t expecting to get this kind of result.”
Q: What did the doctors tell you in terms of the risk factor if you tried to play and got hit in the same area?
Timonen: “I asked the doctor the worst case scenario what could happen and he said, ‘if you get hit there again the blood clot might break up and go down to your toes and then we have to cut off your toes’ so that is not a very good scenario.”
Q: Where are you right now?
Timonen: “I am at home right now.”
Q: Are you allowed to do any exercise?
Timonen: “I didn’t ask anything about exercise. We are going to do a check up next week and see if it’s any better and kind of go from there.”
Q: What is the best-case scenario?
Timonen: “That hopefully it is better next week. I honestly asked the doctor do you have any hope playing this series and he said only if it really goes well the next week and a half to two weeks.”
Q: Have you spoken to any of your teammates?
Timonen: “I have a lot of text messages, but it’s been a busy day, so I have not had the chance to talk to anybody besides my parents and my brothers. I am going to talk to Sami (Kapanen) probably tonight and I am going to give John Stevens a call tonight too.”
Q: Are you going to make any trips to Pittsburgh or are you going to stay home?
Timonen: “I actually talked to our team guy and I would like to be there tomorrow, but we will see if that is a possibility. I would like to be there that’s for sure.”
Q: Do you still have to ice it?
Timonen: ” No.”
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