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Jason LaBarbera returned to Phantoms; Steve Mason ready?

Steve Mason will probably be back in time for the Flyers' next game.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers have loaned goaltender Jason LaBarbera back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the team announced Thursday morning.

LaBarbera served as the backup goalie to Michal Neuvirth the last two games after usual starter Steve Mason left the team due to "a family matter." Mason returned to practice on Wednesday, but did not suit up for that night's win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

This doesn't necessarily mean that Mason is ready to return to game action. He remains off the active roster, and the Flyers are off until Tuesday when they host the Dallas Stars. The Phantoms, meanwhile, have two games this weekend against Springfield and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, so there's no need to keep LaBarbera in Philadelphia when he can be helping the AHL team win games.

Mason will probably (?) be back in time for Tuesday, but even in the worst case, all the Flyers would have to do is call LaBarbera back up before the Stars game.