Anatomy Lesson: Dr. Schwartz Explains Doc Halladay's Shoulder Issues

Anatomy Lesson: Dr. Schwartz Explains Doc Halladay's Shoulder Issues

You've likely already seen Roy Halladay discuss the procedure he will undergo in the next week or so, but if you're like me, you probably didn't understand all of the medical jargon involved. Comcast SportsNet's Lisa Hillary caught up with Dr. Mark Schwartz who explained much of the anatomy of the shoulder we're dealing with. Halladay had mentioned being able to return in as little as three months if all goes smoothly. Dr. Schwartz seems to think that's a bit optimistic, with throwing perhaps being able to get underway in three months in a best case scenario, but something closer to four months for actual pitching. And that's if there are zero hiccups and everything looks good once they open him up.

If Halladay has surgery in the next week and returns in four months, that'd leave two or three turns through the rotation come September.

Safe to say I'm not as optimistic as Doc. But I certainly won't doubt his rehab efforts. Just one of those "expect the worst, hope for the best" deals.

This time, Steve Mason bailed out by Flyers' teammates

This time, Steve Mason bailed out by Flyers' teammates

Steve Mason was not his sharpest Thursday night and he's the first to admit it.

"There's nights where you're not feeling as sharp as you'd like to," Mason said. "This is a situation the guys in front never quit. They earned the two points for sure."

Mason yielded five goals for the third time this season, but made enough saves to secure the Flyers' seventh straight win, a 6-5 victory over the Oilers at the Wells Fargo Center.

The win streak is the longest the Flyers have had since Dec. 2-15, 2011, when "Mr. Universe" Ilya Bryzgalov was their goaltender. Mason finished with 28 saves.

"The guys bailed me out," Mason said, "When your goalie is not making the saves that you need, but the guys keep battling in front, from a personal standpoint, it's huge to see."

Making his 16th start in the Flyers' last 17 games, Mason appeared to show signs of fatigue against Edmonton. He's started the last six games, winning all six.

His current six-game win streak is a career-high, and the five goals allowed Thursday is the first time he's allowed more than two goals during this current streak. 

Entering Thursday, Mason was 5-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .947 save percentage in his previous five starts, and 8-3-1 with a 2.11 GAA and .930 save percentage since Nov. 12. So Thursday is just a small blemish on Mason's impressive résumé of late.

"I didn't think he looked tired," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "This win's a little bit indicative of the type of team we have. A couple nights ago, Mason was the best player. He picked up a lot of guys around him and tonight maybe wasn't his best.

"But it was pretty good. The guys battled hard. They picked up some of the slack. That's what it takes. Every guy's not going to be at their best every night.

"You'd like them to be, and I know the guys want to be at that level, but when one piece isn't working, the other part has to pick it up."

The Flyers' offensive outburst came two days after Mason stole two points against the Florida Panthers, and nine days after the goalie stole another two points against Boston.

Twice on Thursday the Flyers faced two-goal deficits, and both times they found a way to erase them. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in Flyers' history they were able to win a game in which they were down two goals twice.

"Once we got it to 5-4," Mason said, "I tried to lock it down as best I could. There's nights where you're not feeling as sharp as you'd like to.  … Coming back in a couple of days, from a personal standpoint, I got to be more sharp."

After going falling behind 2-0, the Flyers tied it, 2-2, with three goals in 72 seconds in the second period, the quickest three-goal burst since Feb. 14, 2009, vs. the Islanders. 

Then, the Flyers fell behind 5-3 before Voracek sparked a three-goal third period with his 10th of the year at 6:31. Claude Giroux tallied his second of the game, and Michael Raffl pushed the Flyers to victory with his sixth of the season at 18:31 of the final stanza.

"It's a great feeling to come back from behind," Flyers rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov said. "You never want to be in that position, but that's the way it sometimes go. We stuck with it and came from behind and won the game. It's a great effort."

Of the five goals allowed Thursday, the first goal Mason allowed was the only one that can be pinned on the netminder. It was not a great goal to give up, on the second shot of the game, too. Afterward, he said the read was the backdoor play, but Leon Draisaitl slipped it through Mason's five-hole for his fifth goal in as many games.

"Some nights you can be better than the other nights," Provorov said. "And that's what the team's all about. We play for each other. If someone has a mistake, we all help him out and play for each other. That's why we win games."

"That's how you become a great team," Voracek, who tied a career-high with four points, said. "Mase playing the last six games the way he did, it wasn't his night.

"We came big for him. It's how you get into the playoffs, and it's how you have success in the playoffs. It's a good thing we won the game and get rolling now."

End of the road losing streak: Sixers beat Pelicans in New Orleans

End of the road losing streak: Sixers beat Pelicans in New Orleans

The last time the Philadelphia 76ers won a road game, Prince was still alive, Mr. Robot was still the hottest show on TV, and President Trump was still something that people could (sort of) afford to laugh about. But after 23 straight away losses, the Sixers were partying like it was Jan. 20 last night in New Orleans, as they outlasted the similarly short-handed Pelicans in another battle of two of the game's great young big men. Final score: 76ers 99, Pelicans 88.

And surprisingly, they did it without a ton of help from Joel Embiid. JoJo was mostly ineffective from the field in this one, scoring just 14 on 5-15 shooting, with three turnovers. That said, he still made his presence felt on defense, with seven boards, four blocks and a career-high three steals, also helping bother Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis into an 8-21 shooting night. The Process ended up an improbable +27 for the night, though that's not exactly indicative of how good he actually was in this one. 

But just about everyone else stepped up last night. Dario Saric continued his strong recent play with 13 and 5 off the bench. Sergio Rodriguez posted 16 and 8 and remains improbably hot from the field, having made 17 of his last 33 threes over the last six games. Ersan Ilyasova refuses to stop making me look stupid for how useless I claimed he'd be, with his second straight (!!) 23-point game, to go with eight boards and four assists. And someone finally relit the burners under Nik Stauskas, raising Sauce back up to Lightly Chilled after a 14-point (on 5-7 shooting), five-assist, 0-TO night from the field. 

Of course, it should probably only count for half a win against a middling Pelicans squad missing five of their players, including our old friend Jrue Holiday, who was in the early stages of one of his most effective seasons to date before going down with turf toe. But the Sixers still aren't exactly at full strength themselves -- Covington returned in this one, and Nerlens is finally back with the team at least, but he still ain't helping in the box score, and neither is Bayless, Simmons or a still-ill Okafor. Avoiding double-digit-losses in a row is probably the max of we can ask of this squad at this point, but at least it does appear to have been a manageable request.