Injured Meszaros returns to practice with Flyers

Injured Meszaros returns to practice with Flyers

February 14, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Talk about the frustrations of a hockey player, Andrej Meszaros has had his fill for one season.
 
Even if it’s a shortened one.
 
First, the Flyers' defenseman had to spend the entire lockout rehabbing a torn right Achilles tendon injury.
 
Then four games into the schedule, he suffered an AC joint injury to his left shoulder with a projected one month to six-week recovery.
 
Keep in mind, he had herniated disk surgery last March, missing the final 19 games of the season and played just one playoff game.
 
On Thursday, Meszaros rejoined his teammates for practice wearing the “no contact” yellow jersey.
 
He spent about 25 minutes doing drills with teammates after a previous 35-minute workout with a couple coaches and scratched players.
 
Today represented his third time on the ice. So where is Meszaros in his recovery timeline?
 
“Tough to say,” he replied. “I feel I am progressing. Obviously, I’m not where I want to be, as yet. We’ll see how the next few weeks go.”
 
Meszaros injured his left shoulder on Jan. 24 against the Rangers when checked into the boards by the Rangers’ Ryan Callahan at the end of the second period  of would become a 2-1 Flyers’ victory.
 
Really, since last spring, it’s been one serious injury after another for the Slovak defenseman.
 
And if you go back to his first year as a Flyer [2010-11], he had offseason wrist surgery that summer.
 
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Meszaros said. “When we didn’t play with the lockout, I wanted to play games in Europe and it didn’t happen. So the focus was get healthy and try to start the season on time, which I did.
 
“That was very good for me, but to come out [of the lineup] after four games, it’s frustrating and bad luck, I guess. What are you gonna do? That’s the way it is. Hockey is a physical sport. Injuries are gonna happen. It’s unfortunate to me that this happened back-to-back – the Achilles and the shoulder. I try not to think about it. Try to stay positive and do rehab every day.
 
“Maybe it’s a good thing I can get ready right now and get my rehab in for the stretch run.”
 
Meszaros plans a return visit to an orthopedist when the Flyers road trip ends next week. Next Friday (Feb. 22) will mark four weeks since the injury.
 
He still needs contact, and to work on strengthening the shoulder, particularly as it pertains to shooting the puck.
 
Meszaros has one of the hardest, most accurate shots on the team. He’s left-handed, too, which means all the power is coming off the injured side on his follow-through.
 
 “I’m doing better than I thought,” he said.  “Today I was shooting it, but not the way I shoot. I’m trying easy shots, nothing from far away. A little closer to get it on net.”
 
He’ll know he’s ready when he can rip a slap shot from the point.
 
“That and some battle drills along the boards – stuff like that,” he said.
 
Grossmann out
The Flyers go into Friday’s game at New Jersey Nick Grossmann not practicing on Thursday.
 
Though general manager Paul Holmgren called Grossmann’s absence a “maintenance day,” a club source said he has a "minor injury" but is expected to play Friday.
 
Other older vets, such as Kimmo Timonen, were on the ice Thursday.
 
Holmgren made two trips to Peter Laviolette’s office after today’s practice, which is not an everyday occurrence.  His expression was one of concern, too.
 
Couturier back
Sean Couturier, who was felled from a stomach virus hours before the game in Toronto, returned to the ice today.
 
Couturier missed both games in Toronto and Winnipeg. He was sent home to recover and to safeguard infecting the entire team.
 
“I woke up that [Monday] morning and didn’t feel too well,” he said. “The first 24 hours were bad. I couldn’t really eat.”
 
Though Couturier took the morning skate in Toronto, by midday, he  was too sick to do anything.
 
“As the day went on, it got worse and worse,” he said.
 
Couturier, who weighs 191, said he lost about three pounds in two days.
 
It would appear as though Laviolette is going to ease him back into the lineup Friday at New Jersey against the Devils on a fourth line.
 
Couturier centered Max Talbot and Zac Rinaldo in Thursday’s practice.
 
“We’ll see, I haven’t really talked to the coach or anything,” he said.