MONTREAL - The Flyers still are waiting to talk to the concussion doctors Chris Pronger visited Wednesday in Pittsburgh, but they did get good news about another player who has been sidelined by a head injury.
In Montreal, where the streaking Flyers were preparing for Thursday's game against the Canadiens, rookie center Brayden Schenn practiced with the team for the first time since suffering a mild concussion Dec. 3 at Phoenix.
There were no contact drills, but Schenn said he felt much improved from the previous day, when he skated after practice and said he overdid it in Washington.
Schenn, 20, who has missed the last five games, said the concussion symptoms have "pretty much disappeared, and the [next] test is exercising, then you have to take a step back. So far, so good, and I keep progressing. I'm feeling good."
As for Pronger, he was scheduled to see neurosurgeon Joe Maroon and concussion specialist Micky Collins, but Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said he would not have an update until "we have spoken to the doctors" on Thursday. The two have treated Penguins star Sidney Crosby.
Pronger suffered a blow to his right eye on Oct. 24 by an inadvertent stick of Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski. He missed six games, returned to the lineup, and played five games. The veteran defenseman then was sidelined because the Flyers said he was suffering from a virus.
Eighteen days later, however, the team said he had concussion symptoms. That led to Wednesday's visit to the Pittsburgh specialists.
Flyers center Claude Giroux, the NHL's top points scorer (39), also is out with a concussion.
Concussions are running rampant in the NHL. In addition to the Flyers' trio, several other players are sidelined by concussions or concussion symptoms, including Crosby, Los Angeles' Mike Richards, Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Joni Pitkanen, and Ottawa's Milan Michalek, the league's leading goal scorer (19) entering Wednesday.
"It's a scary thing, and there's really no timeline on it," Schenn said of players returning from concussions. "Some guys are longer than others. I think you have to be careful and protect your head; it's obviously a pretty important part of your body."
Schenn said this is the first time he has been diagnosed with a concussion.
"It's definitely not fun; it gets frustrating at times, and at the same time, you have to be patient with it," he said.
Schenn, acquired with Wayne Simmonds and a 2012 second-round pick in the deal that sent Richards to the Kings, also has had a shoulder injury and a broken foot this season.
"You have to stay patient, stay positive," said Schenn, who entered the season as one of the NHL's most-heralded rookies. "There's really nothing you can do about it. If you get frustrated and are negative all the time, it's only going to affect you. Injuries are part of the game, and at some point they'll turn around.
"Hopefully, I'll get these out of the way."
Schenn said it was "unrealistic" that he could play Thursday in Montreal.
A realistic timetable?
"It's all how I feel," he said. "It's not something you can play through, like a shoulder [injury]. The head's pretty important, so you just want to make sure everything is good before you get back on the ice."