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 Thursday, March 16
Clarke: Lindros might have hid injury
ESPN.com news services

 PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers captain Eric Lindros remained hospitalized Thursday night with a post-traumatic migraine headache, the result of a concussion suffered in a game two weeks ago.

Eric Lindros
Lindros, admitted to the hospital Wednesday, is expected to be sidelined at least 10 days. Lindros could be released as early as Friday or Saturday, team officials said, and he might seek an opinion from a specialist.

Lindros was injured when he was hit in the jaw by Boston's Hal Gill during the second period of a game March 4. He underwent an MRI exam and MRA test, which examines the blood vessels in the brain. Both were negative.

The concussion is Lindros' fourth since March 1998. One of the biggest questions facing Lindros is whether his condition is career-threatening. Neither the team, nor Lindros' doctors, are willing to say, according to ESPN's Al Morganti.

Eric's younger brother, Brett, was forced to retire from the NHL in 1996 after suffering three concussions with the New York Islanders and an undetermined amount in junior hockey.

Flyers president and general manager Bob Clarke angrily denied reports Thursday that team doctors and trainers mishandled Lindros' injury.

Lindros played four games after suffering the injury, but sat out Monday's game at Phoenix. Flyers team physician Jeff Hartzell said Tuesday that Lindros did not have a concussion. After examining him Wednesday, Hartzell said Lindros has a Grade I concussion, the least severe category.

"We're very confident that our trainers did the right thing, that our doctors are the best doctors you can get," Clarke said before Thursday night's game against Montreal.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, citing an anonymous source, reported in Thursday editions that Lindros may have a Grade II concussion, which includes memory loss. The report said the team training staff knew for 10 days that Lindros was experiencing headaches and other concussion symptoms, including vomiting, but had been treating him with over-the-counter headache remedies and massages.

Clarke called the report "lies. ... Anyone can use unnamed sources. It's not the truth.

"The only way you can get to the bottom of this is we're going to ask Eric, when he gets out of the hospital, and the trainers and the doctors to meet with you and answer all your questions," Clarke said. "The speculation is very offensive."

In a radio interview Thursday, Clarke said Lindros' vomiting was not any indication he had a concussion.

"Eric is one of the guys who throws up a lot of times, whether it's between periods or before games," Clarke said.

Lindros was not available for comment. Carl Lindros, his father and agent, could not be reached for comment. Clarke would not allow Hartzell and the team trainers to comment until everyone involved could speak together after Lindros' release from the hospital, a team spokesman said.

"We felt there was something wrong when he got hit," Flyers center Keith Primeau said. "But he shook it off and we didn't think twice about it until some of the symptoms started showing. The guys he is closest to recognized the symptoms, but we're not medical doctors."

Lindros' previous concussion occurred Jan. 14 against Atlanta. It was a Grade II. The 27-year-old has missed 15 games this season because of concussions and back spasms. He has missed 121 games in his eight-year career, including the final seven regular-season games and the playoffs last year because of a collapsed lung.

During the radio interview, Clarke suggested Lindros hid his injury .

"I can't speak for Eric, but I'm assuming Eric, like all players, hides injuries," Clarke said. "Players forever have felt that's the courageous and right thing to do. If Eric feels he has a headache, we didn't know he had a concussion. If he has a headache, what are we supposed to do about it?"

Clarke, who has openly questioned Lindros' toughness on other occasions, amended his statement Thursday night.

"I don't know if he downplayed it. He played with it," Clarke said. "He was the best player on the ice for three of the games."

Flyers forward Rick Tocchet said the team realized Lindros was ailing during a game against Colorado last Sunday.

"He wasn't himself, he was sluggish," Tocchet said.

Lindros, the 1994-95 MVP, is third on the team with 59 points with 27 goals and 32 assists.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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 Al Morganti says the Flyers are concerned about Eric Lindros.
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