When the week began, NBC10's Howard Eskin was reporting Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk has been holding up potential trades by putting off surgery for a torn labrum. Sarah Baicker quickly got to the bottom of the story -- or so we thought -- with an e-mail to GM Paul Holmgren, who revealed an infection in JVR's injured foot was to blame for the delay.
Now, the latest: van Riemsdyk won't need surgery at all.
Holmgren released a statement this morning confirming an invasive procedure isn't necessary after all, and through rehab alone, James should be healthy in time for training camp.
That seems like quite a reversal since Monday.
A man went from having his surgery delayed due to circumstances beyond his control, to canceling surgery entirely less than a week later, conspicuously amid a report he was intentionally holding off on having it done. Given the Flyers' history of being less than forthcoming about injuries, it's tempting to draw the conclusion there is more to this than meets the eye.
Honestly, we're not entirely sure what to make of the whole situation. It certainly could be coincidence. JVR and/or the team were seeking second and third opinions all along, and the new course of action was only decided after Eskin's report/Homer's repudiation.
Perhaps more medical reasons came into play. Maybe doctors are unsure when the infection will clear up, and this is the fastest or best way to have him ready in time for camp. After an injury-riddled season, van Riemsdyk doesn't need to start off on the wrong foot (sorry) because he got into the operating room late. Additionally, maybe the window where surgery helps more than rehab has closed.
With limited information, we can only speculate at the moment, but nobody has leapt to anything more controversial so far. The only reason it's really news at all is because JVR has been rumored to be the key ingredient in a swap for Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, among others.
Whatever the case, chances are one has nothing to do with the other, and it's just a strange week in a stranger year for van Riemsdyk.