The Washington Times - December 13, 2011, 12:11PM

Claude Giroux’s status was uncertain. Everyone knew he was out for the Philadelphia Flyers’ game at the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, but now that could be longer.

Giroux is now out indefinitely with a concussion.

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“Claude reported not feeling very good today,” general manager Paul Holmgren said in a text message shown to reporters at Verizon Center. “Over the past few days his symptoms have gradually gotten worse.”

Giroux took a knee to the head Saturday night in a collision with teammate Wayne Simmonds. He left the game and did not return or practice Sunday or Monday. He did not make the trip to Washington with teammates.

Giroux is the NHL’s leading scorer with 39 points.

“When he goes out we look for the veteran players like Danny [Briere] to step in,” coach Peter Laviolettesaid, “and we also look at the young players like Matt Read or Sean Couturier to pick up the slack.”

Players learned of the downgrade in Giroux’s status from reporters in the visiting locker room.

“Obviously he’s a guy you can’t replace. It’s going to take a lot of people to step it up and fill the role that he plays. He does everything for us: penalty kill, power play, scores big goals, makes big hits, blocks shots, does it all,” left wing James van Riemsdyk said. “So we’re going to have to kind of step up our game here. Just let him rest and not have to rush him back.”

But the Flyers aren’t planning to use his absence - no matter how long that is - as an excuse.

“We don’t see here and look for a crutch or a hole and think we’re going to sit back on it,” tough guy Jody Shelley said. “We got guys here that make guys better.”