September 29 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“One day after saying that Michael Leighton would return to practice Thursday, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren revealed Tuesday that his No. 1 goaltender would be sidelined for at least a month with a bulging disk in his lower back.
In a conference call with reporters, Holmgren also said that forward Ian Laperriere would be out indefinitely with post-concussion symptoms.
On Monday, Holmgren said that an MRI exam had shown that Leighton had a lower back strain. However, the general manager said that Leighton consulted with doctors Monday night and Tuesday morning. That’s when it was revealed that he actually has a bulging disk.
“It’s unfortunate for the two individuals we’re talking about today, Lappy and Michael,” Holmgren said hours before the Flyers dropped a 3-2 exhibition decision to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. “They were both obviously big parts of our team at the end of last year.”
Leighton was hurt Friday in the third period of a 4-3 shoot-out exhibition victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. The 29-year-old, who was not available for comment Tuesday, was removed after the overtime session and replaced by backup Brian Boucher for the shoot-out.
“Right now we think that time period is a month just to let everything settle down,” Holmgren said of Leighton’s injury.
He said the injury is more dicey for goaltenders than regular players because goalies spend so much time bent over in the net.
“My personal experience with a bulging disk is that they go back eventually,” Holmgren said. “It’s not a herniated disk, which is bigger in and of itself. It’s a bulging disk, and we think with strengthening and rehab and time that he’ll be fine.”
Holmgren added that Laperriere, 36, has been dealing with post-concussion symptoms since last season. The right winger had an MRI exam on Tuesday and will fly to Pittsburgh to see a doctor on Friday. Laperriere will visit the same specialist he saw last season after suffering a brain contusion by blocking a shot with his face in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Devils.”
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