The Philadelphia Flyers may have to face the Pittsburgh Penguins without their best defenceman.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kimmo Timonen has been diagnosed with a blood clot in his ankle and will miss the rest of the playoffs.
Timonen was hit by a shot in Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens in their Eastern Conference semifinal series and the injury continued to linger and get sorer.
"We thought we'd get it checked out because it didn't get better and they found a blood clot. This was just an awful day for me. I played in Game 5 in Montreal, but it was really hurting me," Timonen told the Inquirer. "I have to be honest, I didn't expect this result. How many times in your life do you get a chance to play for this, with a chance to go to the Stanley Cup Finals? This is just awful."
Flyers' general manager Paul Holmgren feels there is a chance that Timonen may return should the Flyers advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
“There is some hope that in a week's time there might be some improvement, but we will have to see how that goes,'' Holmgren said Thursday night. 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.”
With Timonen out, the Flyers' defence loses an integral part of their six-man unit, heading into a series with the high-flying Penguins.
"Obviously you can't replace a player that does what Kimmo does for us, Holmgren added. "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.”
Timonen did not accompany the team to Pittsburgh for Friday's opening game of the Eastern Conference Final series.
Jaroslav Modry and Ryan Parent are the most likely candidates to replace Timonen.