The rampant paranoia, the John le Carre/CIA coverup secrecy levels surrounding NHL injuries have, alas, reached epidemic, leaguewide proportions.

“Lower-body” injuries could, technically, mean anything from an inflamed ingrown toenail to amputation below the knee.

Well, it can be revealed — and was, in fact, in front of a couple thousand witnesses Sunday — that the “lower” in “lower body” for both Mark Giordano and Lee Stempniak are below the shin. On the right-hand side.

Even given that shocking bit of see-for-yourself information, the exact nature of those injuries, or possible recovery timetables, remain shrouded in the usual tired, confusing covert secrecy.

With the Flames flogging — technically, unveiling — their new third jersey at the first Flames Fest down at the Saddledome, both the highly-influential Giordano and the highly-dependable Stempniak made their way onto the ice for the obligatory photo op with their right feet/ankles encased in protective walking boots. This, no matter how screechingly silent the organization wants to be on the injury issue, cannot be good. (You’d think maybe a week after the fact the guy shelling out for one of those spiffy new jerseys might appreciate at least an indication of why and possibly how long the captain of his favourite team might be missing from the battle field?).

And despite the rather unmissable footwear being modelled by both players, the team would did not provide an update on the situation.

Well, Giordano has been out a full week now. Three games.

Stempniak, meanwhile, was forced to sit out his first of what could be many in Saturday’s 5-2 dusting of the Washington Capitals.

We know the new jerseys will be on the ice Friday when the Detroit Red Wings pay a visit, because the Flames came clean there.

Giordano and Stempniak? Hmmm, that remains something more of a mystery.