Friday January 30th, 2015

Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube said he expects defenseman Kimmo Timonen to return to the ice some time this year, according to Randy Miller of

It was revealed in early August that Timonen had been diagnosed with career-threatening blood clots in his right leg and his lungs and was undergoing treatment in his native Finland. In mid-September, Timonen admitted that there was a slim chance he'd return from the illness.

KWAK: For NHL players and other athletes, blood clots are a deadly threat

While there is yet to be an official announcement about Timonen's return, Berube mentioned on Thursday that the team expected his return in the coming weeks.

"I'm excited for him to be healthy and also excited for him to be coming back," Berube said. "He's been a real good player and want [sic] to play again. He's been a good player for this hockey team and this organization for a while."

Hextall said on Jan. 17 that the blood clots in Timonen's lungs were gone and that he believed the 15-year veteran might be able to play with clots in his calf. Timonen is expected to make his intentions public in the coming days, Miller writes, an announcement that would indicate Timonen had been medically cleared to take the ice.

Berube was unsure when Timonen would be fit to skate, but said he was confident the defenseman would put in the effort to return to the ice.

"He's a pretty smart individual. I think that he's kept himself in really good shape," Berube said. "Obviously, he has to get on the ice and put some work in. But Kimmo plays a lot of the game with his brain."

Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic leaves hospital after blood clots

Timonen has appeared in 97 percent of the Flyers' games since being acquired in 2007 and 1,092 total games in 15 NHL seasons. Last season, he recorded 35 points in 77 games.

- Christopher Woody

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