Do not expect Flyers center Jeff Carter to return in the Eastern Conference finals against Montreal, general manager Paul Holmgren said on Sunday night.
Holmgren vehemently denied a report that Carter _ who is sidelined with a broken right foot _ would return by Game 3 of the conference finals. He said it was “a stretch” that Carter would return at any point in the series. “He’s still walking around in a boot,” Holmgren said.
Carter broke his right foot when hit by a shot taken by teammate Chris Pronger during an April 20 playoff game in New Jersey. He had surgery three days later.
At the time, the Flyers said Carter would miss at least six weeks and might be able to return if the Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Finals. (Reaching the Finals seemed like a longshot at the time. Not now.)
Sunday marked the 26th day since Carter’s injury.
During the regular season, Carter broke his other foot and missed eight games; he still led the Flyers with 33 goals.
Holmgren also said the Flyers would be cautious with Ian Laperriere and that the club would not rush the right winger back. Laperierre is sidelined with a brain contusion and concussion, and Holmgren hinted it was a longshot that he would return this season.
“It’s a safety issue….that we take seriously,” he said.
Laperriere has started to skate, but he will not be allowed to practice until an MRI “says everything is clear,” Holmgren said.
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