|Claude Giroux (left) is heading to Atlanta to undergo precautionary tests on his injured neck. (Getty Images)|
This has to be the top concern and worst nightmare for any NHL team that has players -- especially top players -- spending the lockout in other professional leagues: the risk of injury.
According to reports out of Germany, first from hockeyweb.de, Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux is returning to the United States to undergo precautionary tests on a neck injury he suffered in an overtime loss Friday when he was on the receiving end of a check to the head.
He will be seeing a specialist in Atlanta.
Giroux, along with one of his Flyers teammates, Danny Briere, has been playing for the Berlin Polar Bears in Germany's top professional hockey league. He has four goals and 15 assists in nine games.
Originally, the injury was viewed only as minor. Berlin general manager Peter Lee said, via Bruce Garrioch, that Giroux passed all the concussion tests and that they "take everything serious."
Even if tests are just precautionary, the injury has to be somewhat concerning for the Flyers and their fans given that Giroux missed some time during the 2011-12 season due to a concussion.
He's their best player and finished last season with 28 goals and 65 assists (93 points) in 77 games.