JVR making progress; eyes playoffs

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James van Riemsdyk broke a bone in his foot while blocking a shot on March 1. (Matt Slocum/AP file photo)

James van Riemsdyk is getting itchy.

Being sidelined with a broken left foot will do that to a player.

“It’s been about four weeks now, and it’s kind of tough not being on the ice at this time of the year,” the Flyers’ left winger said after taking part in the team’s photo session at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday. He said he hopes to soon get “a couple of weeks of skating and then be ready to go.”

Van Riemsdyk, 22, who broke a bone blocking a shot against the Islanders on March 1, will visit a doctor at the end of next week; he hopes he has the boot removed and is given permission to resume skating.

It seems that, in a best-case scenario, van Riemsdyk would rejoin the team midway through the opening round of the playoffs.

“There’s no reason to think that can’t happen,” he said. “I’m just doing all I can to stay positive, and being in a good mindset to get better. That’s all I can do right now.”

Van Riemsdyk, who has 11 goals in 43 games this season, has been working out, but “can’t do a lot of weight-bearing stuff at this point, so it’s been a lot of upper-body and core (exercises) and keeping that strong. Hopefully I’ll get in the pool and start doing some stuff with that, and go from there. When I get my boot off, things will start progressing a little better.”

It appears the Flyers will face bitter-rival Pittsburgh in the opening round.

“It would be exciting; it’s always fun to play against those guys and to (ratchet) it up a little more in the playoffs. It would be great,” he said. “Those are the kind of games you love playing as a hockey player.  It’s a huge rivalry, it’s the playoffs; they have some great players on their team, we have a lot of great players on our team. It would definitely be a pretty big challenge for us.”

In last year’s playoffs, van Riemsdyk had seven goals in 11 games.

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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