Holmgren: Downie doesn't have a concussion

Holmgren: Downie doesn't have a concussion
December 21, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Steve Downie's upper-body injury is not a concussion, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. (AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- General manager Paul Holmgren shot down speculation that Steve Downie suffered another concussion on Saturday night after placing the rugged winger on injured reserve.

“It’s something he’s been dealing with for the last game or two,” Holmgren said.

Holmgren said it's not concussion-related, either. The Flyers announced he would miss seven to 10 days for IR purposes, but he's not expected to be out that long.

“He would probably have missed two games,” Holmgren said. “Steve’s a tough kid. To his credit, he played through it.”

According to Holmgren, Downie could be ready to play on the Flyers' post-Christmas trip, which begins next Saturday in Edmonton.

Vinny Lecavalier, who participated in an optional morning skate, re-entered the lineup after a nine-game absence (see story).

Lecavalier had aimed to return on the post-Christmas trip. Would he had played if Downie weren't injured?

“He wanted to play,” Holmgren said. “A guy like Vinny has been around a long time. You have to trust his judgment that he feels good. He clearly wanted to play.”

Lecavalier was wearing rubberized protection in his lower back. He suffered a non-displaced fracture in that area on Nov. 30 in Nashville.

There were subsequent back spasms, but they have not been present for several days now. Lecavalier said once the spasms were gone, he would likely feel comfortable playing again.

“We talked at length about that, he feels good, feels ready to go," Holmgren said. "The injury is something from a couple weeks ago. Once he felt good he was not in danger of injuring that same area, he’s ready to go.”

It was uncertain prior to the game against Columbus how much ice time Lecavalier would get vs. the Blue Jackets.

The Flyers were 5-6-2 during the time Lecavalier was out of the lineup.

Loose pucks
Defenseman Nick Grossmann missed the game with the flu. Hal Gill, who sat out the previous 20 consecutive games as a healthy scratch, replaced Grossmann.