Still in pain, Read participates in Flyers morning skate

Still in pain, Read participates in Flyers morning skate
February 27, 2013, 12:45 pm

VOORHEES, N.J. – Coughing hurts. Sneezing does, too. Really, doing just about anything hurts Flyers forward Matt Read to some extent these days.

Read tore his left rib cage muscles in last week’s wild 6-5 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh. He’s still likely five weeks from returning to the lineup but did participate in part of the Flyers morning skate Wednesday at Skate Zone.

“It’s pretty painful,” said Read, who appeared to be in some discomfort even just talking. “But I don’t know, I guess it could be a lot worse, you know?”

Before the injury – which, he said, was either a result of a hit by Chris Kunitz, Evgeni Malkin, or a combination of the two – Read was finding a great deal of success on the Flyers’ top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. He had seven goals (13 points) in 18 games, and four points in his last four games. His spot was recently reclaimed by Scott Hartnell, who himself had to work his way back from injury (broken left foot).

That Read was playing so well just before the injury adds to his frustration.

“I guess so,” he admitted. “It’s part of the game. Injuries are part of the game, and you can’t do anything about it. You just got to take it with a grain of salt, and when you get back to being healthy, get ready to play at 100 percent.”

Because of the nature of the injury, Read can’t wear a bandage or cast of any kind. The only way to treat it, he said, is with massage and ice. And patience, of course.

“I can skate, but I can’t do anything else besides that, really,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”

Read’s return to the ice so soon after the injury came as a surprise, but there’s no reason to believe his timetable for recovery (six weeks from the night of the injury) has changed. To his knowledge, there are no plans for surgery.

He was able to skate and pass and shoot the puck lightly Wednesday morning, but doesn’t know whether its in the Flyers’ plans for him to continue skating with any regularity. The only other form of exercise he’s able to do is ride a stationary bike.

“We’ll see,” he said, “I’ll take it day by day. We’ll see how my body feels in the next couple days, and if I can get back on the ice. But it’s not my decision it’s the trainer’s decision and Paul Holmgren’s decision, so it’s not up to me.”

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