By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen stepped onto the ice Tuesday for the first time this season to a chorus of stick tapping. Timonen’s teammates we’re honoring the 39-year-old defenseman, who has not played since April 30, 2014 due to blood clots.

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“The way the guys did it on the ice, it was cool,” Timonen told reporters, via

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“Obviously, very emotional,” head coach Craig Berube added. “Everyone is very happy Kimmo is back on the ice. Shows a lot of courage and determination by him … a lot of character.”

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Timonen will practice in full, with contact, beginning Wednesday. His return target date is February 28th for at home game on NBC against the New York Rangers, the team that Timonen last played against during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.