Flyers injury updates: Del Zotto done for season, Couturier and Giroux day-to-day
The banged-up Flyers have all but officially lost their No. 1 defenseman this year for the rest of the season, but may be getting reinforcements up front pretty soon.
Some good and bad news coming in via Flyers general manager Ron Hextall this Sunday afternoon on the injury front:
Injury updates from GM Ron Hextall:— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 21, 2016
-Couturier skated today; is ahead of schedule & day-to-day
-Giroux skated today; Possible to play Tues.
-Weal is on track with a week & half or so left of recovery— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 21, 2016
-Del Zotto will get ligament repair surgery on his wrist; will be out 3-4 mos.
Mason not injured, issue last night was cramping. Neuvirth fine now.— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) February 21, 2016
Medvedev is OK. Just "bruised up a little bit" last night— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) February 21, 2016
We'll start with the bad. Some quick math would indicate that, unless the Flyers end up in the Stanley Cup Final (keep the faith!), Michael Del Zotto needing 3-4 months to recover from wrist surgery will end his season. It's a shame, what with the way his two-way play had taken a big step forward this year. He was clearly one of the defensemen that head coach Dave Hakstol trusted the most on this team -- as could be seen by his team-high 23:28 of ice time per game -- and his loss will continue to be felt on the blue line for the rest of the year.
Fortunately, that is just about all we have in terms of bad news here. It's good to hear that Claude Giroux, who of course missed last night's game in Toronto with what were probably the after-effects of an elbow he took from P.K. Subban on Friday, was back on the ice today, and while it's tough to say for certain that he'll be in on Tuesday if he really is dealing with a concussion, the fact that the team believes he may be available is a good sign.
Better news still is that Sean Couturier is "ahead of schedule". It's been just over two weeks since the Flyers announced that he would miss four weeks with a lower-body injury, so his return is coming close in any case, but to hear that he is ahead of schedule would indicate we could maybe see him within the next week or so. Given just how good Couturier has been this season, that'd be a welcomed addition to a forward corps that needs its top defensive center back in the lineup.
Jordan Weal, meanwhile, appears to be roughly on schedule after going out with an injury earlier this past week. And it's also good to hear that both of the injuries that popped up last night -- Steve Mason dealing with cramps and Evgeny Medvedev going off after blocking a shot -- will apparently not linger or cost those two any games.
While it's a shame to hear that Del Zotto will be out for the rest of the year, that had been sounding like a possibility from the moment his injury was announced. Otherwise, it's good to see the Flyers will likely be getting back some of their key pieces soon -- maybe even sooner than expected. Any slim chance this team has of making a run to a playoff spot is going to be contingent on it staying healthy.