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Flyers’ Meszaros uncertain he’ll be ready to start season

Jan 7, 2013, 12:13 PM EDT

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The Philadelphia blueline could be thin to start the season.

Already without the services of Chris Pronger, the Flyers aren’t certain they’ll have Andrej Meszaros available for the proposed Jan. 19 start date — he’s still dealing with the after effects of a torn Achilles, according to CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio.

“Sometimes I am really sore and I can’t push off,” Meszaros explained. “I’m still weak [in the heel area]. It’s a matter of time before I get my strength back.”

Meszaros tore his Achilles in August and resumed skating in November. Give it’s now January, that might seem like ample time to rehab an injury — but do keep in mind the timetable for recovery varies greatly.

New Jersey’s Travis Zajac tore his Achilles last August and returned to action on Dec. 16, a four month recovery period. But after playing in just eight games, he was shut down by team doctors for another two months.

All told, Zajac missed 67 regular season games (though he did play in all 24 of the Devils’ playoff games.)

Ex-Flyer Justin Williams tore his in Sept. 2008 while playing for Carolina. His return was borderline remarkable, getting back into game action on Dec. 4 — a three month recovery period.

Williams went on to play 44 games that year, though he struggled (just 14 points and a minus-8 rating.)

When asked, Meszaros was uncertain if he’d be able to open should the season start in two weeks’ time.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s tough to say.”

Without Meszaros, the Flyers defense is looking at a top-four of Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann and Luke Schenn, with Bruno Gervais, Andreas Lilja, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Erik Gustafsson and Brandon Manning battling for spots five and six.

  1. paul621 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Either way, not a bad looking top four.

    • sportsfreak13 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Not a bad top 4? Thats one old man past his prime (timonen), 1 injury prone defensemen (grossman), and 1 unproven big hitter who is out of position more then the goalie playing behind him (schenn). Yea not a bad top 4 at all.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        Timonen was still very productive last season and has barely missed any time in his Flyers career, Grossman may be somewhat injury prone but he provided much needed stability and a crease-clearing presence for Bryz. Coburn is underrated in my opinion as he eats up minutes and has an excellent size-speed combo. Schenn struggled after being thrown onto a mediocre (at best) roster with no goalie (yes I understand Bryz isn’t the model for stability) at a very young age. He just wasn’t comfortable, but playing with his brother on a winning club could do wonders for his confidence. It may not be ideal when compared to a top-six that includes a Chris Pronger and Mezsaros, but in no way is it a bad top-four. And Bourdon and Gustafsson showed glimpses that they belong last season. Gustafsson, who I like more, really reminds me of a young, raw Timonen. Bottom line is there are much worse blue lines around the league.

      • paul621 - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        What he said. ^

      • mclovinhockey - Jan 7, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        yeah Phillyphanatic77 said it best.
        Its actually a nice top 4… if healthy they can produce points (Timmo and Coburn are great at that) play effective D (Timmo, Coburn and Grossmen are great at that) and clear the traffic in the crease (Grossmen and Schenn are great at that) so its actually a good top 4.

  2. broadstbully33 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    We need u back on the blue line

  3. hy3rid28 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    with bourdon and gustafsson hurt i really liked the way brandon manning played . I think he is going to make the roster if not right away some time this year

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