Pilot injury updates on Sean Couturier, Joel Farabi and Patrick Brown

Voorhees, NJ – Instead of taking the ice and passing a John Tortorella ski glove to start 2022 training camp, Shawn Couturier was scheduled to see a specialist for further evaluation on his back.

The pilots held their breath as they searched for answers to what ails the first-line position.

Couturier’s back suddenly became painful and problematic again a few days before camp started. General Manager Chuck Fletcher described the back problem as a “tough injury”. She pinpointed his do-it-all in 29 games last season and required surgery in February.

On Monday, Flyers Couturier listed from week to week with an upper body injury. In December of last season, he was considered to struggle with an upper body injury week to week before eventually needing an end-of-season procedure.

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The pilots are trying to find out. They were staying optimistic on Thursday as Couturier went to get his second opinion.

“Based on that meeting and that date, we will try to come up with a plan of attack,” Fletcher said. “As more information becomes available, we’ll let you know.”

Couturier was training with the Flyers at the end of last season and seemed ready for a good summer. The expectation was, when he underwent surgery, a full return to training camp and the 2022-23 regular season. A week and a half ago, despite dealing with some setbacks all summer, Couturier said he was acquitted and was doing well.

Then some pain appeared.

“He woke up one morning and was more uncomfortable than usual,” Fletcher said, referring to Couturier’s injury in the same area he injured last season.

“I know during the summer he was getting better, but from time to time he would have some nerve irritation in his muscles. He was told it was a normal part of the process, he kept training. At some point over the past week things got worse and got to the point where he wasn’t He sleeps well and is in some pain.

“What caused that, I don’t know. Was it a recurrence? Was it a felony replay? Was it never fully cured? I don’t know. … It’s something where you get in and out of the car, sleep the wrong way, pick up something…” You exercise, you skate, there are a whole host of components that affect your back, as we all know.

“We’ll try to get to the bottom of the matter and do what’s best for Sean.”

The reason for the optimism was Couturier’s optimism. Fletcher was surprised when on Thursday he answered a question about the injury likely to come with concerns about threatening his career.

He said, “Wow, I think we’re a long way from finding out. Talking to him this morning, I had breakfast with him, he feels so much better than he did last year. He’s able to walk around, he can sit comfortably, he feels like he can even go out.” And skating now. So I think it’s a long way to suggest the end of his career or the end of the season. But we’ll leave it to the specialist and see what he thinks and then we’ll get together and make a plan.”

Over the past two seasons, the Flyers have gone 18-38-8 in games without Couturier in the lineup. They went 32-31-11 when he was in the lineup.

“Back surgery in general is really tough and it’s not something you want to mess with,” Joel Farabi said Thursday. “I think as a team and crew here, we’re really optimistic that it won’t be long. He’s clearly an important part of this team, so the sooner we get him back, the better.”

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Farabi is recovering from his injury. While his status for the October 13 season is uncertain, he is progressing well after undergoing a disc replacement operation in his neck area three months ago. The pilots will not rush him.

“It feels good,” Fletcher said. “We want to be careful here.”

The 22-year-old winger took part in hard skating on Thursday but has yet to be allowed to call.

“It probably depends a little bit on how he feels on the skiing part and the training part of camp, but I think we’re still looking at week to week,” Fletcher said.

Farabi was surprised when he sensed the injury was coming in June.

“It was my first week in the gym,” he said. “I was wearing a bench press set and it was a warm-up, like 90 pounds, it was really light.” “Just reached back and felt a really weird pinch in my neck. From there, I was in a lot of pain, a lot of nerve pain and things like that.”

The 2018 first-round pick missed 19 games last season with two different iterations of an injury to his left shoulder area. In the previous season that was cut short for the pandemic, he led the Flyers in goals with 20 and finished with 38 points from 55 games.

His focus now is to rebuild strength, being physically strong enough for matches. His conditioning is in pretty good place because he’s been on the ice for casual training for the past month.

“I feel like after skiing today, I felt so good, I probably didn’t expect to feel this good,” Farabi said.

“I’m talking constantly with my doctor and the guys here. Can’t confirm what my schedule looks like just yet, but right now I’m feeling really good. I’ve been lifting a bit and walking around here for the last month so definitely getting my body to where it needs to be. “.

Farabi became the third NHL player to ever undergo the procedure, joining Golden Knights center Jack Eichel and Blackhawk forward Tyler Johnson. Dr. John Yoon performed Farabi’s surgery at Penn Medicine.

“While speaking with Dr. Yun in Penn Medicine after having an MRI in the summer, I felt it was probably the best decision in terms of my pain level,” Farabi said. “I had a lot of nerve pain in my arm. I felt like it was the best decision for myself and my career. He did a great job. My body feels comfortable now and I have no issues with it.”

Joel Farabi and Carter Hart speak to the media on Thursday on the first day of Flyers training camp.

On top of the Flyers’ quarterback challenges with Couturier injured, fourth-place candidate Patrick Brown is recovering from off-season back surgery. He was on the ice last week skiing to rehab.

“The schedule is a bit vague, I like to call it week by week,” Fletcher said. “He’s skating, but he wasn’t allowed to call him.”

If the Flyers have been without Couturier and Brown for some time, they are expected to have Kevin Hayes, Scott Laughton and Morgan Frost as their top nine centers. Taner Lazinski and veteran Artem Anisimov are two of the candidates for the fourth line position.

Anisimov, 34, is in the camp on a professional trial. He played parts of four seasons for Tortorella when he was the Flyers head coach with Rangers. The 6-foot-4 striker played in the Premier League last season after being laid off from his starting position with an avalanche.

“I had Artie in New York, young man, just a great guy. A family man now,” Tortorella said. “A really intellectual player, he’s very good at positioning, he can play up and down the lineup, he can kill penalty shootouts, he can play as a center or winger, a good teammate.

“I don’t know what it is now. But when Chuck asked me about him, and Chuck did, we had conversations, and I said there’s a lot that interests me because of his versatility as a player. He’s a smart guy. I don’t know, and I don’t know where it all goes.”

Tortorella wouldn’t have been ready to discuss mods without Couturier on day one.

“To start evaluating if he’s coming out, what’s going to happen, I can’t tell you because I don’t know what the team will be,” he said. “Nothing is presented here in terms of where people play and who they play with. We haven’t used pucks yet.”

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