Flyers’ Ryan Ellis and Kevin Hayes skate with Danny Brière as they continue recovery from injury
VOORHEES, NJ – With the rink still dimly lit, Ryan Ellis took to the ice an hour before his team’s practice Monday at the Flyers Training Center.
Kevin Hayes and Danny Brière followed soon after. The spotlight was on and Ellis went through rehabilitation work with teammate Hayes and former Flyer Brière. As the team headed to the ice for practice, Ellis, Hayes and Brière left.
Ellis will miss his fifth straight game on Tuesday when the Flyers host the Coyotes (7 p.m. ET / NBCSP). The 30-year-old defender suffers from a persistent lower-body injury. The problem appears to be in the hip / groin area. At one point, Ellis lifted his knee and stretched it outward as he and Briere discussed things between a rep.
Ellis, a valuable addition to the Flyers’ active offseason, has skated quite well in his work with Hayes and Brière.
The first pair defenseman was taken on a day-to-day basis over a week ago and was part of the club’s 2-1-0 trip to Western Canada. However, he did not play as the injury continued.
“If I had known before the trip that he wasn’t going to play, we wouldn’t have brought him,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Monday. “We would have kept him here and had him rehab here instead of letting him stay overnight, etc. We thought there was a possibility, which is why we brought him in. It didn’t. didn’t work. It takes a little while. a little longer than expected. I said day to day last week, now obviously we are week to week. Hope he makes some progress here in the next few days and that he will be able to help us here in the near future.
Vigneault has confirmed that Ellis is grappling with the same issue that kept him sidelined for three consecutive practices after the club’s pre-season final and before its opener of the regular season. Ellis used the time for recovery and treatment.
“I just had a little thing start to explode,” Ellis said Oct. 14 when he returned to training. “It was nothing serious; it was just more of a precaution than anything else.”
Ellis was able to play in the Flyers’ first three games and recorded 24:09 minutes per game, four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-3 rating.
“I feel he and our medical staff are a bit more careful because this is lingering,” said Vigneault. “I hope we can handle this and deal with it once and for all and not hear about it again.
“It takes a little longer to heal than [we] expected. When Ryan is ready to play he will let us know because he obviously wants to play and help his teammates. “
Following Tuesday’s game against Arizona at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers are scheduled to practice Wednesday before hitting the road again to face the Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET / NBCSP) and the Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m. ET / NBCSP). Vigneault said if Ellis was not able to train at full capacity on Wednesday, he would not join the club on the trip.
“When you’re missing a guy of his caliber, whether it’s a forward, a defender or a goalie, he’s a huge misfire,” said Keith Yandle. “It’s just one of those things where everyone has to step up a bit and try to fill the void as much as possible and hope he can come back as quickly as possible.”
Ellis and Hayes are big chunks for the Flyers. Hayes is the team’s second-line center when in good health. The 29-year-old is recovering from abdominal surgery. Like Ellis, Hayes also plays on the power play and on the penalty kill.
The Flyers put Hayes on the long-term injured list on Oct. 13, two days before their first game of the season. For a team to place a player in the long-term injured reserve, the player must miss at least 10 games and 24 days of the season. Entering this week, the Flyers are 4-2-1 in seven games.
“I saw Kevin after practice, he’s doing really well,” said Vigneault. “I think in the next few days here he will join the team for full training.”
Here’s how the Flyers looked at Monday’s practice, which is the lineup they are expected to ride in on Tuesday against the Coyotes.
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Joel Farabee-Derick Brassard-Cam Atkinson
Oskar Lindblom-Scott Laughton-James van Riemsdyk
Nicolas Aube-Kubel-Nate Thompson-Zack MacEwen
Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle-Nick Seeler
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