JVR: I'm not delaying a trade

Reports that he was putting off surgery as a stratagem are wrong, he and the Flyers said.

Posted: June 13, 2012

James van Riemsdyk has heard the trade rumblings for the better part of a year - since signing a six-year, $25.5 million extension that kicks in this fall - but the Flyers winger can do little more than laugh.

On Sunday night, NBC10's Howard Eskin reported that van Riemsdyk has delayed surgery on a torn labrum (cartilage) in his hip to "make it difficult for the Flyers to complete a trade" that includes Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash.

"Trades are part of the business," van Riemsdyk, 23, told the Daily News on Monday. "I have way more respect for the game than that. People always say if Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded. To suggest I'd deliberately try to hold one up is an absolute joke.

"I love my teammates in Philadelphia," he said. "Management has treated me extremely well. Honestly, I'm the type of person that, if a team did not want me here, I would not want to be here. I certainly would not hold anything up."

Eskin reported that general manager Paul Holmgren is "furious" that van Riemsdyk has not yet undergone surgery on his right hip. The season ended on May 8, and four other players (Claude Giroux, Matt Carle, Wayne Simmonds and Kimmo Timonen) have undergone operations.

Holmgren emphatically denied Eskin's report on Monday.

"James' surgery has been delayed due to an infection in his foot," Holmgren said via text message.

Van Riemsdyk said that the foot nagged him throughout the playoffs, even though he was limited to only seven games, and that the infection has not gone away.

Van Riemsdyk needed to have his foot drained of excess fluid after the playoffs ended.

He broke the foot on March 1, underwent surgery on March 2, and missed the next 23 games, returning in the first round against Pittsburgh.

Normally, surgeons are hesitant to schedule any surgery while an infection is present, because it can interfere with the body's ability to recover properly.

Van Riemsdyk said he intends to be fully healthy for the start of training camp in September.

Whenever the hip surgery takes place, the normal recovery time is six to eight weeks. The expiration of the NHL's collective-bargaining agreement on Sept. 15 could give van Riemsdyk even more time to recover.

"I know that I am going to be a strong and competitive player in this league," he said.

"I have no doubt about that. Right now, I'm just focusing on getting healthy and getting back to being that player.

Contact Frank Seravalli at seravaf@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @DNFlyers. Read his blog, "Frequent Flyers," at www.philly.com/frequentflyers

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