4/10/2006 2:48:45 PM
Injured forward Keith Primeau, who announced earlier that he didn't expect to play again this
season or in the playoffs because of lingering effects of a concussion, participated in a full hour-long practice today with
the Philadelphia Flyers, which is likely to fuel speculation he may attempt to play again this season.
But Flyers' head coach Ken Hitchcock says it's "extremely doubtful" Primeau will play for the Flyers in this
"(Primeau practising) will get everyone talking," Hitchcock said. "But I think it's awfully premature to think
there's a chance he could be back. What happened is that Keith has been skating by himself for a month and he got bored and
wanted to skate with some people, be around the team. That's what it was more than anything else. It was good for him to be
around the guys and it was good for the guys to be around him."
But it is worth noting that Primeau competed in all drills at full speed, including those that involved battling
and potential for contact.
"The good news is that he felt good before the skate, he felt good during the skate and he felt good right
after the skate and he went hard for 60 minutes," Hitchcock said. "I would have to think that is very encouraging for him
in terms of feeling good about his chances of coming back and playing hockey again next season. Beyond that, who knows? Who
knows how he will feel when he wakes up tomorrow morning. There are a lot of ups and downs with (Primeau's condition)."
But is there any chance Primeau could still be a player for the Flyers this season?
"Well, put it this way," Hitchcock said. "If he put together five days of practice like he did today and didn't
feel any ill effects, then maybe you could start to think along those lines, but it's not something anyone is planning on
at this point."
Hitchcock said the Flyers hope to have Peter Forsberg (groin) back in the lineup by the end of the week, but
that the return of injured Petr Nedved is likely for tomorrow night's game against Pittsburgh.