There’s good news in Philadelphia, as the Flyers have announced that defenceman Kimmo Timonen will return to action. He’s set to resume skating on Friday with hopes of playing again in the 2014-2015 season.
The 39-year-old had not played since finding blood clots in his legs and lungs back in August. At that point, it was thought that Timonen might never play again.
“It’s been a long process,” he said. “In September we talked to [the media], we said there’s a little chance to get back on the ice, hopefully in February, down the road; we’ll see. But I kept that hope alive. I worked out really hard and meeting all the doctors…all the specialists. I feel really confident about skating and coming back.”
Timonen will initially return to the ice by himself and will skate on his own for a week or more. After that, he’ll approach the idea of skating with teammates. He hasn’t skated in eight months so it should be an interesting process.
“It’s going to take me a good two weeks to get my legs going,” said Timonen. “I’m in good shape, I feel like, but skating is a lot different than riding a bike…I can’t give you any estimate for when the first game might be. Just excited to get on the ice tomorrow.”
The Flyers are also excited to see Timonen back on the ice. They’re sure that their defenceman is ready to begin the process of coming back. “There were a lot of people involved. Doctors involved. Specialists involved,” said general manager Ron Hextall. “We all feel the risk is minimal.”
As for the blood clots, they’re going to be a part of life for Timonen. He has a Protein C deficiency, a condition shared by his mother and two of his brothers. The clots are “chronic” and won’t move from the leg where they were found.
As for the future, this will be Timonen’s last season. The hope of playing in one more game is enough.
“I signed a one year deal,” Timonen said. “I wanted to come out hard and play well and leave this game on a high note. It’s still the case. I want to come back and hopefully play a game. Leave this game with my skates on; that’s probably the biggest thing.”