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September 27, 2005 - Primeau sustains shoulder injury

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Primeau sustains shoulder injury


By WAYNE FISH
phillyBurbs.com

VOORHEES, N.J. - There were a few frowns in Flyers camp at the start of the day when Keith Primeau left early with a left shoulder contusion, but Monday's workout ended with smiles all around after Peter Forsberg and Derian Hatcher made it through their first practice unscathed.

Primeau tripped on a stick and fell awkwardly less than 10 minutes into the workout. The Flyers' captain came up grimacing and went off to be treated by strength and conditioning coach Jim McCrossin.

After some tests (no X-rays or MRIs were required), the news sounded positive. Primeau could be back as early as tonight's home game against the New York Islanders, although it seems unlikely he will test the injury that quickly.

"It's real sore right now,'' Primeau said on his way out the door.

"He fell awkwardly into the boards,'' McCrossin said. "We pulled him out, he's a little tight in the shoulder. If it's sore tomorrow, we're going to hold him out, we're not going to take any risk with it.''

Meanwhile, Forsberg, who underwent a Sept. 12 operation to have an infected bursa sac removed from his right ankle, made it through the first half of practice (about 48 minutes), and is just a doctor's clearance away from his first preseason action.

Hatcher, out since U.S. Olympic training camp with a sprained knee, participated in the whole session and sounds like he's just about ready to go.

"On Forsberg, the incision looks fantastic,'' McCrossin said. "He'll have a followup visit with Dr. Keith Wapner on Friday. At this point everything looks great, hopefully we'll get him in the lineup.

"The strength is coming back in Hatch's knee real well. He has a visit with Dr. Peter DeLuca on Wednesday and hopefully he'll be cleared at that time.''

Forsberg had some hop in his step.

"It didn't feel that bad,'' he said. "Stuff like battling in the corners, it's going to take a few more days. Tomorrow we'll probably go full practice. I'll be a happy man if I can get in one or two games.''

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Hatcher would like some time to adjust to the new rules. He's wearing braces on both knees now but said they don't bother him.

"It felt good,'' Hatcher said. "It's been frustrating. If I had been here and we hadn't been locked out for a full season, I don't think it would have been quite as bad. With the circumstances, it made it a little worse on me.''

Hatcher looks to get into one of the two weekend preseason games, either at New Jersey on Friday or Washington on Saturday.

Sharp in limbo?

At the beginning of training camp, coach Ken Hitchcock spoke of an increased role for Patrick Sharp. He backed that up by putting him on a line with Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne.

But after three preseason games, Sharp's stock appears to have dropped. The play of journeyman winger Jon Sim (five goals) might have something to do with that.

Sharp was not listed on the board for tonight's game, although that could change before game time.

In any case, Sharp might go into the season not knowing where he's playing.

"Wherever they put me I'll play my hardest,'' he said. "[The uncertainty] is something you learn to deal with as a pro. I know the depth this team has and where I fit in is not one of the main issues.

"I'm not worried. I'm confident I can play here. It's still the preseason, it's just a matter of sorting things out and seeing where I fit in. I feel like I've been improving every day. ... I could have done more in the games, but it's a process.''

Hitchcock wouldn't commit to any line but the Mike Richards-Mike Knuble-Sim unit for opening night.