PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Flyers center Keith Primeau officially has another concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely.
The diagnosis was made Monday by team neurologist Gerri McGinnis at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Trainer Jim McCrossin said that Primeau's concussion has not been graded for severity but that he is also suffering whiplash
Primeau took an elbow to the head from Alexander Perezhogin during last Tuesday's game in Montreal. The whiplash effect
involves tightness in the neck muscles, the trainer said.
"The significance of that is twofold," McCrossin explained. "It's causing an irritation and can slow down your circulation.
Second, the muscles in the neck go up into the head. If they are tight, they are pulling down on the head and causing a headache.
We're trying to relieve that symptom."
The 33-year-old Primeau, who missed Sunday's 5-3 win in Ottawa, has experienced headaches.
"When he lies down, he feels like he is spinning, and he also said his eyes feel busy," McCrossin said. "He may be focusing,
but his eyes are going back and forth and they get fatigued."
The Flyers' medical staff is treating Primeau's injury as a continuation from February 2004, when he suffered one diagnosed
concussion and perhaps two more concussions that were not diagnosed.
"We're treating it as that," McCrossin said. " ... To say that this is his first concussion, I really couldn't say that
because obviously, we had some earlier. Going back to the year 2004, if he had three then, this is his fourth or fifth. We
have to do that way. We have to look at the symptoms. Each of the concussions Keith had, the symptoms were delayed (from the)
McCrossin said there is no way to determine how much long-range damage Primeau may have suffered.
In a startling admission during an NHL conference call in August, Primeau said that he had still been experiencing post-concussion
syndrome until May - a year after the 2004 playoffs when he was believed to have suffered two more concussions that went undetected
because he was never tested.
"How many can he sustain?" McCrossin asked. "That goes to an individual basis and is beyond my scope. That is why we have
experts in the field. That is why we are monitoring his symptoms daily. I wish I could answer that.
". .. That is where (team physician Gary) Dorshimer and Dr. McGinnis and all the doctors who evaluate Keith have to come
up with a decision. Keith's health is our first priority. There is life after hockey."