Flyers' Timonen to resume skating Friday

Philadelphia, PA ( - The Philadelphia Flyers announced Thursday that defenseman Kimmo Timonen will begin skating Friday.

The 39-year-old Timonen has not played since being diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs in his native Finland back in early August.

Timonen will skate by himself on Friday. It will mark the first time in eight months that the veteran has skated.

Recently, Timonen underwent a series of tests in January to determine if he could attempt a comeback. He and the team had a series of meetings with doctors to evaluate and understand the results to see if there was a risk of returning to the ice.

When speaking with the media in Philadelphia during the first intermission of the Flyers' game against the Islanders on Thursday night, Timonen said the blood clot in his leg is chronic and that he has been assured by doctors that it will not move.

"I kept that hope alive," said Timonen. "I worked out really hard and meeting all the doctors, with Hexy (Ron Hextall) and the specialists. I feel really confident about skating and coming back."

Timonen, his mother and two brothers have a protein C deficiency, which causes a greater disposition to blood clots. According to the National Institutes of Health, a mild case of protein C deficiency affects 1 in 500 people.

In 77 games last season, Timonen posted six goals with 29 assists for 35 points.