All-Star center unlikely to return before playoffs

Updated: February 20, 2004, 4:45 PM ET
Associated Press

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers All-Star center Jeremy Roenick is undergoing more tests for a severe concussion, one week after getting hit by a puck and breaking his jaw.

Roenick told The Philadelphia Inquirer that a neurologist in Arizona advised him to get an MRI exam on his brain stem. Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said Roenick will have that test on Saturday. It's unlikely Roenick will return before the playoffs.

"I'm not feeling any better; in fact, I feel worse," Roenick was quoted as saying. "One day to the next, it's the same. I just don't feel any better. My head is playing games with me. I don't have any energy."

Roenick was hurt early in the third period of a victory over the Rangers on Feb. 12 when he was struck by a shot by New York's Boris Mironov. Roenick had surgery to repair his broken jaw, but the concussion is more serious. Roenick even said last week that he is considering retirement.

The Flyers, tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference, have been decimated by injuries. All-Star center Keith Primeau also is out with a concussion, sustained less than a minute after Roenick was injured.

Hitchcock said Primeau didn't feel well after riding an exercise bike, and his return is uncertain. Roenick isn't even close to trying any exercise.

The Flyers also are without forwards Donald Brashear (knee) and Todd Fedoruk (knee), defensemen Eric Desjardins (arm) and Dennis Seidenberg (leg) and goaltender Robert Esche (knee).

Esche practiced again on Friday and will see a doctor on Sunday. Hitchcock said it's possible Esche could return early next week.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press