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October 7, 2003 - Primeau questionable with rib injury

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Primeau questionable with rib injury

Philadelphia's Keith Primeau is questionable for Thursday's season opener against the Buffalo Sabres while he continues to recover from a rib-cartilage injury.

Primeau, who is set to centre a line between Donald Brashear and Sami Kapanen this season, has been sidelined the past two weeks after suffering the injury in the team's second preseason game.

"I didn't think it would be a big deal, and so I battled through it during practice that next week and it nagged me," Primeau tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I thought it would subside and played against New Jersey and had no strength. I could not push off anyone, and it hurt me too much."

Primeau says the injury is different than the two previous rib ailments he has suffered as a Flyer.


Also doubtful for the season opener is Claude Lapointe, who is suffering from a right ankle sprain.

John LeClair, who suffered a bruised left toe after taking a shot off his skate on Sunday, is probable after X-rays proved negative.

Head coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to start the year with the following line combinations: Simon Gagne, Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte; Donald Brashear, Keith Primeau, Sami Kapanen; John LeClair, Mark Recchi, Radovan Somik; Todd Fedoruk, Michal Handzus, Justin Williams.

The starting defensive combinations are expected to be: Jim Vandermeer and Kim Johnsson, Marcus Ragnarsson and Joni Pitkanen, Eric Weinrich and Eric Desjardins while Chris Therien, who was left unprotected in the waiver draft, would sit as the seventh defenseman.