Vincent Lecavalier Returns to Practice, but Flyers Announce Delayed Returns for 2 More Players

Prospects for three injured Philadelphia Flyers were mixed at the end of October.

Center Vincent Lecavalier, who injured his left foot blocking a teammate’s shot 13 days earlier during a game against the Montreal Canadiens, took to the ice for practice before the rest of his team.

He skated laps, looking healthy and capable, practiced a few shots and joined in some drills.

But defenseman Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald were absent from practice due to their own injuries.

It turns out that Coburn, who should have been returning soon from resting a left foot injury sustained Oct. 8, will be absent four additional weeks. General Manager Ron Hextall reported that there had been a setback in his recovery.

MacDonald, too, is predicted to be out for a month with a lower-body injury. Added to the preseason loss of Kimmo Timonen (who will be sidelined until at least January due to blood clots), this leaves the Flyers with only three of the top six defensemen they expected for the season.

“It’s tough, but there’s nothing I can do about it,” coach Craig Berube told local media. “We’re going to deal with it and go play. We’ve got capable guys to play. … Everybody will pick up the slack.”

Foot and Ankle Injury in the Sport

Although it’s estimated that 75% of Americans have foot health problems at some point or another in their lives, athletes in general and hockey players in particular are known for a high rate of injury. Though overuse injuries also occur, direct trauma during games — from player collisions and body checks; collisions with walls and ice; and blows from skates, sticks and pucks — is often to blame.

Lecavalier’s teammates said it was encouraging to see him skate, especially with two more teammates still sidelined by injuries. “I feel like I haven’t seen the guy in two weeks,” right wing Wayne Simmonds said. “It’s really nice to see him get on the ice today.”

Lecavalier expressed eagerness for his teammates to return as well.

“Losing guys is always tough,” he told The Courier-Post. “A lot of teams lose players. You’ve got to battle through it until they come back, and then you’re probably better off.”

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