Yesterday, all was well in Flyers nation. Valterri Filppula and Brandon Manning were blasted into the sun, James van Riemsdyk came back home, and we found ourselves patiently waiting for the month of August to tick by in anticipation of training camp getting underway. Well, at roughly 3:18 AM ET on this Wednesday morning, reports began surfacing that Sean Couturier, the Flyers number one center, had re-injured his right knee in an off-season exhibition game.
Bill Meltzer of HockeyBuzz.com was the first to break the story about the troubling news of Couturier’s injury. The injury occurred roughly two weeks ago during an off-season tournament held in Quebec City called the Boot Camp tournament. This is the same knee and same type of injury that occurred to Couturier in April when he collided with teammate Radko Gudas in practice during the 2018 Eastern Conference quarterfinals. This time there was reportedly no contact that caused the injury:
This time, Couturier was playing in the Boot Camp Tournament in Quebec City two weeks ago and reinjured his knee on a non-contact play, making a routine move on the ice.
Fortunately, a tear to the medial collateral ligament does not require surgery, but Couturier will be out of action for up to six weeks while he recovers. So, with this occurring roughly two weeks ago, Couts will likely need about four more weeks of recovery time. What does this mean for Couturier’s status for training camp and pre-season? It all depends on how quickly this injury recovers, but his status as of now remains questionable for the start of pre-season. Training camp gets underway in just three weeks, with the preseason beginning on September 16th.
Should he take the full six weeks to recover, Couturier will likely miss all of training camp and the beginning of pre-season action, but should be ready to go at somebody point during pre-season and for the start of the regular season when the team opens up their 2018-19 campaign on October 4 against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Flyers have yet to comment on the report, but Couturier has returned to the area to meet with team doctors.
This is a developing story with potentially more information to come, so be sure to check back for updates as they become available.
Update: 2:25 PM ET
Our own Maddie Campbell was just in on a media conference call with general manager Ron Hextall. Here are some key updates and clarifications about Couturier’s injury:
- The injury occurred on August 10 during the Boot Camp charity tournament
- This is in fact not a re-injury of his MCL as initially reported. It is the same knee, but a different injury, however, Hextall was quite vague with exactly what part of the knee suffered the injury. His original MCL tear is 100% healed
- From memory, Hextall believes the injury occurred on a net-front play with no contact
- Hextall anticipates Couturier to participate partially at the start of camp, but will not take part in any contact drills
- Couturier will most likely miss the first four pre-season games, but should return to action midway through the pre-season schedule and be ready for the regular reason
- Hextall was clear this was a separate injury, so they do not believe him to be more susceptible to this type of injury in the future