Kimmo Timonen is being treated for blood clots in his lungs and right leg, the Philadelphia Flyers website announced on Tuesday.
Timonen, 39, was one of the top defensemen on the Flyers last season and still has some good hockey left in him at the age of 39, but he must first get these blood clots treated before he can get out on the ice.
Blood clots can be fatal in some cases, but they are treatable and hockey players have made returns from the affliction. Tomas Fleischmann from the Florida Panthers played through the condition with the proper medication and treatment, but Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun missed the entire regular season due to the same affliction.
The immediate concern is the health and well-being of Timonen so he can get back to full health and back on the ice as soon as possible for the Flyers.
He may be in the twilight of his career, but he had 35 points in 77 games, which was good for second among defensemen on the club and his 20:19 average ice time placed him squarely among the top four d-men for the Flyers.
His biggest contribution came in regard to puck possession where he was the best at his position for a team that struggled defensively and possessing the puck.
If Timonen is forced to miss time in the 2014-2015 regular season as a result of the blood clots in his lungs and right leg, Shaye Gostisbehere and Erik Gustafsson would likely be two in-house candidates to fill the void in the lineup.