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April 27, 2006 - Flyers' Primeau delays comeback

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Flyers' Primeau delays comeback

Philadelphia Flyers forward Keith Primeau doesn't expect to return to the lineup until the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, if at all.

The Flyers captain has been skating the last few weeks but suffered a setback after trying to come back from a season-long concussion and said he will not be physically ready to return to action unless the Flyers make it to the Eastern Conference finals.

"I woke up [Wednesday] morning with a slight headache still," Primeau is quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "So that's two days since I took a hit in practice. I don't feel well enough to go on the ice. I don't know if it's because of my head or I'm frustrated. It's a minor setback, but not the end of the world."

Team trainer Jim McCrossin said Wednesday that Primeau would not play at all this round because of post-concussion symptoms.

The Flyers are down 2-1 in their first-round series with the Buffalo Sabres.

Primeau, the Flyers inspirational leader on the ice due to his intimidating combination of size and skill, was upset over stories in the media that gave the impression he might be able to play this week.

"I understand by me participating in practice there is going to be a perception," Primeau told the Inquirer. "I can accept that. As I explained from the start, what I am trying to do is get myself in position to play.

"There has never been a time frame. It has never come out of my mouth that I'm playing on this particular day. As far as I know, it's never come out of the mouth of anyone in the organization. If they did, it was an assumption."

Primeau, who has sustained many head injuries in his 15-year career, played the first nine games of the 2005-06 regular season but has been out of action since late October after suffering a severe concussion.

Primeau missed 21 games because of a concussion suffered against the New York Rangers in the 2003-04 season. He also suffered at least two head injuries in the 2004 playoffs, in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs and in the finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.