Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Putting the Humpty Dumpty Flyers back together again!

Just how broken were the Philadelphia Flyers? They gave absolutely no effort in their elimination game against the Sabres and it seems they had practically none to give.

According to the Courier Post Online, 14 players on the Flyers will be having surgeries this month. 14!!! The Sabres are a good team, but very fortunate that they faced a Flyers team that was so wrecked that they couldn't play anywhere near their full potential.

I've never seen a team with so many injuries at one time for a playoff squad. Given that it's the Flyers, I'm not shedding any tears :)... I'm just a little bit in awe.

The Flyers had plenty of injury to go with the insult of bowing out in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last week.

By the end of this month 14 players -- more than half the roster -- will have undergone surgeries.

According to Flyers head athletic trainer Jim McCrossin, five of them are to repair torn shoulder ligaments and five are to repair torn hip ligaments.

Center Michal Handzus and wingers Donald Brashear and Branko Radivojevic underwent surgeries to repair torn labrums in their left shoulders and are looking at eight weeks of rehab.

Defenseman Derian Hatcher and winger Turner Stevenson will have small tears in their right knees repaired today that will require 10 days of rehab.

On Wednesday, left wing Simon Gagne will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip in Vail, Colorado and will require 8-10 weeks of rehab.

Defenseman Eric Desjardins will undergo surgery on his left hip on Wednesday at Baptist Hospital in Nashville and faces 10-12 weeks of rehab.

On Friday, it's defenseman Mike Rathje and goaltender Robert Esche heading down to Nashville for repairs on their right hips. Dr. Thomas Byrd is scheduled to perform the surgeries and both Rathje and Esche face 6-8 weeks of rehab.

Goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who is currently playing for Finland in the World Hockey Championships, has an "extensive" labrum tear in his right hip, according to McCrossin, and will undergo surgery in Nashville when he returns on the week of May 29.

McCrossin said defenseman Denis Gauthier has a "very extensive" labrum tear in his right shoulder. He and winger Brian Savage (shoulder) will undergo surgery May 17 by Flyers orthopedist Peter Deluca and both face 8-10 weeks of rehab.

Right wing Sami Kapanen will have debris in his right bicep tendon removed on May 18 by Deluca.

Meanwhile, Flyers captain Keith Primeau will have a broken nose repaired by Dr. Guy Lanzi in the hope that it will relieve some of the sinus pressure brought on by post-concussion syndrome. McCrossin said Primeau has made "great strides" in his recovery and hopes the surgery on his nose will speed his recovery.

Today McCrossin and Flyers center Peter Forsberg will visit foot and ankle specialist Thomas Clanton in Houston to get a second opinion on Forsberg's right ankle. Two months ago Dr. Robert Anderson found laxity in both of Forsberg's ankle ligaments and recommended reconstructive surgery. The extent of the damage in both ankles will determine the length of Forsberg's recovery.


Much has been made of the poor Flyers training/medical staff in the past. Dave Babych launched a lawsuit for poor treatment and there have been other horror stories. How could the Flyers, being a high-revenue team, be so cheap when it comes to their medical staff? I know injuries aren't always controllable, but the Flyers often have many under-the-surface problems thanks to rather poor medical practices.

And Peter Forsberg...how many times have his ankles been repaired? They must be absolute mush by now.

Speaking of Forsberg...

According to the Flyers' website, Forsberg needs surgery on both feet and will aim for a January 2007 return...
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