Originally created 03/19/00

Neilson could be released from hospital soon



PHILADELPHIA -- Cancer-stricken Flyers coach Roger Neilson could be out of the hospital as early as this week, his doctor said Saturday.

Neilson, who underwent a stem cell transplant March 10, is recovering well and could be released soon from Hahnemann University Hospital.

"He's not nauseated. He has no fever," said Dr. Isadore Brodsky, the hospital's chief of oncology hematology.

Brodsky said Neilson's white blood cell counts are still very low, which puts the 65-year-old NHL coach at risk of infection.

"The important thing is that he's feeling better," Brodsky said. "He's getting out of bed. He's more like himself."

Neilson was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, on Dec. 9. The stem cell transplant is intended to leave him cancer-free.

"Maybe by the earliest (Sunday), certainly by Monday, we should see some evidence of how the marrow graph takes," Brodsky said.

Once he is released from the hospital, Neilson will begin three to five weeks of rehabilitation.

Neilson plans to rejoin the Flyers for the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which start next month. Coaching duties now are being handled primarily by assistant Craig Ramsay.