Primeau Still Sidelined by Concussion
||Keith Primeau has not ruled out returning to action next season after announcing that he
will be unable to play for the remainder of the 2006 season on Tuesday. (AP)|
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Flyers captain Keith Primeau will miss the rest of the season because
of lingering symptoms from a concussion four months ago.
Primeau, his voice cracking, said Tuesday this was the best
decision for his health. He added that he would be sidelined for the playoffs but did not rule out returning next season,
saying he had made progress in his recovery.
"I'm not 100 percent, I'm not symptom free," he said at the Flyers' practice
facility. "I will not be able to finish the season. I made the decision in hopes of prolonging my career."
Ed Snider said he was sure Primeau would be back for training camp in good health.
"I hoped not to get to this point,"
said Primeau, with Snider and general manager Bob Clarke by his side.
Primeau was injured Oct. 25 after a hit from
Montreal's Alexander Perezhogin, the latest and most severe in a list of head injuries the center has sustained in a 15-year
Primeau had not been cleared to play by Flyers doctors and a concussion specialist in Montreal had advised
him to forgo playing this season and continue his rehab, leaving him with little choice but to try and return next season.
played in two more games after he was injured, but symptoms forced him out of the Oct. 30 game against Ottawa.
one goal and played in only nine games for the Flyers (33-16-5) this season, and was asked by Clarke to make a decision by
the end of the Olympic break. The Flyers resume play Wednesday night at New Jersey.
Primeau missed 21 games because
of a concussion sustained against the Rangers in the 2003-04 season. He also had at least two head injuries in the 2004 playoffs
-- in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Toronto and in the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay.
missing the first half of 1999-2000 season with Carolina because of a contract dispute, Primeau was traded to the Flyers and
brought immediate toughness and leadership to the locker room.
Primeau matched his career high with 73 points in 2000-01,
and led the Flyers in playoff goals (nine) and points (16) in 2004 when he helped lead them to the Eastern Conference finals.
was appointed captain in 2001, but that title has since been given to defenseman Derian Hatcher.
Drafted in the first
round by Detroit in the 1990 draft, Primeau spent six seasons with the Red Wings and three more with Hartford/Carolina and
played in two All-Star games. He has 266 goals and 619 points in 909 career games.