Read could be back sooner than expected

Flyers' Matt Read tries to control the puck against New York Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Michael Del Zotto during the third period on Thursday, January 24, 2013. ( Yong Kim / Staff Photographer )

Matt Read may be back sooner than even the Flyers expected.

Read, 26, was originally projected to be out for 6 weeks with torn rib cage muscles, suffered in back-to-back hits on Feb. 20 in Pittsburgh.

Instead, Read said he could be back “as soon as this weekend.” He skated in a full, hour-long practice on Monday -wearing a regular, white practice jersey - and participated in cycling drills with passing and shooting. 

Last week, he was limited to just skating and little puck movement. He took the weekend off from skating and felt better on Monday.

“I think I’ve healed pretty quickly, but I’m still in a lot of pain,” Read said after practice. “Maybe that last part, going from 80 percent to 100 percent healthy will take a while.”

Read was one of the Flyers’ most consistent forwards to start the season, racking up 13 points in 18 games.

“It could be this weekend, it could be two weeks from now,” Read said. “I really don’t know. I don’t think it will be another month, though. I just want to take my time and make sure I don’t re-injure myself.”

SLAP SHOTS: Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, expected back soon from a shoulder injury, missed practice on Monday. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Meszaros was sick. The Flyers said he would be back in 7-to-10 days on Feb. 21.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers