Flyers star Claude Giroux is returning to the United States to be examined by the same doctor who treated Sidney Crosby's concussion, the Daily News has learned.
Giroux, 24, suffered a neck injury with an illegal check to the head last Friday night during an overtime loss for Eisbaren Berlin in the German Elite League.
His agent, CAA Sports' Pat Brisson, told the Daily News on Tuesday that Giroux will be traveling to Atlanta to visit controversial specialist Dr. Frederick "Ted" Carrick at Life University in nearby Marietta, Ga.
Carrick is a "chiropractic neurologist" who specializes in traumatic brain injuries. He has been the go-to guy for hockey players when it comes to concussions, having recently treated Crosby (Brisson's biggest client), in addition to Chicago captain Jonathan Toews and Minnesota forward Guillame Latendresse.
Brisson said Giroux is visiting Carrick as a "precaution" and "we don't believe it's serious."
To this point, the word "concussion" has not been used with Giroux, but clearly when a check to the head is involved and a neck injury is apparent, it is certainly a possibility. Brisson did not immediately respond when asked if a concussion has been ruled out.
When reached via text message in Berlin on Tuesday, Giroux said he is "fine" and "don't read into this too much." Giroux said on Saturday that it was "just a little neck injury."
There is some debate as to exactly when Giroux will be returning to the United States. The release from his Berlin team said he will be flying on Wednesday. Giroux told the Daily News he is not leaving until next week. Usually, flying after head trauma is not recommended - especially when it comes to a 9 or 10-hour jaunt across the Atlantic Ocean.
Dr. Carrick is a Canadian-born chiropractor who has helped many hockey players in his 35-plus years in the industry. He uses no drugs or surgery. He has met controversy on his theories with "blind spots" in the brain, which critics say is "nothing more than placebo" and that his methods have no basis in science or medicine. There is plenty of reading available on Carrick's approach, and this story in MacLean's in Canada is a fine start.
Considering the insurance risks and his concussion history, Giroux leaving Berlin to return to the United States does not absolutely mean his injury is of a serious nature. It could also be a move to stay out of harm's way for a while. Giroux's experience in Germany has been a very positive one, playing alongside teammate Danny Briere. He has racked up 19 points in 9 games.
Giroux suffered a concussion last season - as was well documented in the HBO documentary "24/7" during the Winter Classic - but returned to the ice after just 4 games. It was his second career concussion.