Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flyers injury update: Lappy coming soon, Carter likely out for the Conference Finals

One of the advantages of making a deep playoff run is that the players you thought were out for the season start inching closer to a return. There have been grumblings that two such players for the Flyers, Ian Laperriere and Jeff Carter, are getting ramped up for a possible return to the ice.

Laperriere appears more likely to return in the Eastern Conference Finals than Carter. CSN Philly speculates that Lappy, who suffered a concussion and brain contusion against the Devils, could be back as soon as Game 4 against the Canadiens. Apparently, Laperriere has felt well enough to resume skating and he hasn't had any setbacks in recent days. Of course, it will likely be up to a doctor to ensure that there are no lingering issues before he will be cleared to play. Laperriere's return to the ice would be huge for the Flyers as he can jump right back onto the 4th line in place of Andreas Nodl and start killing penalties right away. With Lappy being a hard worker and a great chemistry guy, the team will welcome him back with open arms.

As for a player that some think would hurt team chemistry if he returned, it doesn't sound like Jeff Carter will be coming back at any point in the Eastern Conference Finals. While reports from CSN Philly originally speculated that he could be back as early as Game 2, Paul Holmgren has gone on record saying that it would be "a stretch" to think Carter would be able to suit up at all in this series. Despite initial positive reports, it's sounding more and more like Carter won't be able to come back unless the Flyers make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The return of either player would simply be a case of the strong getting stronger. With the Flyers playing as well as they have been, neither player should feel pressure to have to hurry back from their injuries. Should the Flyers drop a couple of games to the Canadiens, though, I wouldn't be shocked to hear that both Carter and Laperriere were feeling much better and were ready to go.

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