Apr 24, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT
The was a sight for sore eyes in Voorhees today when Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros returned to practice for the first time since undergoing back surgery on Mar. 21.
According to Philly.com, the 26-year-old rearguard wore a non-contact jersey during drills. The original estimate for his return post-surgery was 6-8 weeks — based on that, the earliest Meszaros could return would be midway through Round 2 — but his speedy return to practice has changed perceptions a tad.
“I’m really encouraged,” coach Peter Laviolette said.
Given the depleted state of their defense, the Flyers would love to get Meszaros back in the mix. Injuries to Chris Pronger, Nicklas Grossmann and Marc-Andre Bourdon forced Philly to ice a makeshift blueline in Game 6 against the Penguins — rookie Erik Gustafsson played 22:09 while Pavel Kubina, who started the series as a healthy scratch, saw just 4:31 in the series-clincher.
So yeah, Philly essentially played with five defensemen against the Pens.
- Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4 0
- WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final 6
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL 35
- All eyes on Lundqvist 10
- Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup 11
- Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead 30
- (Video) PHT Extra: On Babcock, sticking to the process and housebuilding analogies 3
- Babcock predicts ‘pain’ for Leafs, who are a ‘massive, massive challenge’ 39
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ 47
- Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line 25
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (172)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)