Langkow return in doubt

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

PENTICTON, B.C. — Calgary Flames centre Daymond Langkow is not expected to be fully medically cleared for training camp when it opens this weekend, according to assistant GM Jay Feaster.

Although Langkow has been making steady progress from the neck injury he suffered late last season, the club admitted he is yet to be allowed to partake in the physical activities necessary to attend camp.

"He continues to skate and he continues to make progress, but he's not cleared yet for contact and hasn't taken any contact. Training camp's four days away, so at this point in time, we don't expect him to be cleared for contact come Friday," said Feaster, who is in Penticton, B.C., for the Young Stars Tournament. "We'll continue to monitor it on a regular basis in camp, and when he's cleared to go, he will."

The veterans will report for medical testing Friday, and take to the ice Saturday.

Langkow's 2009-10 season came to a crashing halt March 21 when he fell headfirst to the ice at the same time he was hit in the back of the neck by a puck shot by teammate Ian White.

Langkow suffered a fractured vertebrae at the base of his neck.

He has improved steadily in the past month, and began skating a few weeks ago.

Feaster pointed out Langkow had not had a setback.

"That's the good news. We all feel very good," Feaster said. "What I have been saying consistently, whether or not he would be cleared to fully participate in training camp, was something that remained to be seen, and that was true. Now that we're four days away, I guess we could still say it remains to be seen, but I think that's disingenuous.

"At this time, he's not cleared for contact. He will participate in camp, but only to the extent doctors are permitting him to do."

Langkow, who'll turn 34 later this month, has played 1,013 regular-season games, in which he's collected 259 goals and 641 points.

There is no timetable when Langkow will return.

The Flames have a few veteran centres in Olli Jokinen, Matt Stajan and Craig Conroy in the fold if he can't start the season, and top prospect Mikael Backlund looking for a roster spot. Langkow has two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of US$4.5 million.


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