Lecavalier has 'best day,' hopes to return soon

Lecavalier has 'best day,' hopes to return soon
December 19, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Vinny Lecavalier has not played since Nov. 30. (USA Today Images)

It was, in Vinny Lecavalier’s own words, his "best day" on the ice.

The Flyers' center skated again Thursday morning, this time at Wells Fargo Center, and said he is hoping he can return to the lineup sooner than the two-week projection general manager Paul Holmgren issued on Wednesday.

Lecavalier is recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back that had led to spasms over the damaged area. Tonight against Columbus will be Lecavalier's ninth game missed because of this particular injury.

His target now is to play on the post-Christmas Western Canada road trip to Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary, a five-game swing that then continues in Colorado and ends in Phoenix.

"Yeah that’s a possibility, of course,” Lecavalier said. “I don’t want to say anything [for certain]. I want to see how it reacts. It was very encouraging today. See how it reacts today and then tomorrow.

"... I’m hoping it’s sooner than [two weeks] because I felt really, really good out there. ... It feels really good on the ice. I felt a lot stronger out there.”

He was injured on Nov. 30 in Nashville when crosschecked across his lower back.

Lecavalier said he doesn’t know who did it, and what is surprising is he’s been hit a lot harder than that over his 15-year career and didn’t think much of this particular hit at the time.

The spasms occur as a way of protecting the injured area. The more the fracture heels, his back relaxes.

“It happened my second or third shift, coming around the net in the first period and I felt something weird going on,” Lecavalier said. “The spasms increased during the game. ... By the third period, it was too much.”

Lecavalier said he will need to wear some protection in that area when he does return to action.