Philadelphia Flyers Need to Handle Simon Gagne Injury Cautiously

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IAugust 27, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 05: Simon Gagne #12 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Calgary Flames on March 5, 2009 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Flyers left winger Simon Gagne strained his right groin on the first day of Team Canada's training camp late Monday afternoon, and was sent back to Philadelphia on Tuesday to be examined by team doctors.

Here's the good news: he didn't re-injure his surgically-repaired hip.  The bad news: he strained his right groin.

Flyers orthopedic surgeon Peter DeLuca diagnosed Gagne after his examination of the forward, and the team is expecting Gagne to be ready for training camp in mid-September.

General manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement that Gagne will get an injection on Friday, and will be advised to rest for one week.

Red flags should be flying up for the Flyers right about now because groins are nagging injuries that can stay around for an entire season.

It has been classified as a mild groin strain, however that shouldn't ease the minds of Flyers fans, especially with Gagne, who has had hip/groin issues in the past four years.

The thing with nagging injuries like a groin is that they are so unpredictable that you just never really know when it's fully healed.  One minute, it could feel all better, and the next minute it could be tweaked again.

Groin injuries haven't been nice to the Flyers in recent years, especially to top players like Peter Forsberg, and most recently, Danny Briere, who missed 53 games last season with abdominal and groin injuries.

Even more reason for concern for Gagne is that he has been injury-prone in the last four seasons.  Since the 2005-06 NHL season, Gags has missed 76 games with groin, hip, and concussion injuries.

The fact of the matter is that the Flyers can't afford to miss his production this coming season.  Already losing 52 goals this summer with the trade of Joffrey Lupul and the loss to free agency of Mike Knuble, the Flyers don't have enough offensive depth to replace a 30-goal scorer.

I believe last year that Briere told the team that he was healthier than he really was in an effort to get back on the ice.  For professional hockey players who love to play the game, it's tough to sit out and watch your teammates try to win games.

That cannot happen with Gags.

Caution should be the first step in order to rehab Gagne.  If he says he's fine one day, tell him that he isn't to practice until the next day or the day after that.

While it may be minor, the Flyers absolutely have to make sure that Gagne's groin is completely healed.


Flyers open rookie camp on Sept. 7

In more positive news surrounding the Orange and Black, the team announced that rookie camp will open on Monday, Sep. 7.

There will be 29 rookies attending the camp including James vanRiemsdyk, Kevin Marshall, Patrick Maroon, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Ryan Dingle, Jon Kalinski, and Andreas Nodl.

Training camp opens on Sep. 14, which means that hockey is just around the corner!