Matt Read did not practice on Monday, leading to growing concerns that his upper-body injury suffered in Calgary may in fact be a concussion.
The Flyers did not provide an injury update on Read. He was listed as a gametime decision on Saturday in Phoenix but coach Craig Berube said Read “just didn’t feel right.” At the very least, Read did sustain some sort of head contact, as he was seen with a cut around his mouth in Denver prior to the Flyers' game against the Avalanche.
Read’s injury was not initially considered to be serious. A source said the Flyers were initially planning on having Read return to the game in Calgary last Tuesday, but ultimately held him out for the remaining two periods. He then missed games in Colorado and Phoenix.
Read took an elbow to the head from Calgary’s Brian McGrattan on Dec. 31 and was slow to get up. He is believed to have suffered a concussion during his rookie season, when he missed three games (Nov. 2-5, 2011) because of a similarly vague “upper-body” injury.
Since he did not skate again on Monday, Read is unlikely to return to the lineup Tuesday night in New Jersey. Though, that is when a player with a diagnosed concussion - Michael Raffl - could actually play again.
Raffl skated in a full practice on Monday and said he was not feeling any ill-effects from his hit by Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog that bounced his face off the glass on Thursday. Raffl missed Saturday’s win in Phoenix as a precaution.
Raffl needs to be cleared by a doctor before he can return to action. Berube sounded hopeful Raffl could be in the lineup against the Devils.
Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (left knee sprain) skated in his first full practice since injuring himself on Dec. 21 in Columbus. Gustafsson did not make the trip out West with the Flyers and Saturday seems like the earliest possible return date for him.
Even with those three injuries, the Flyers have been incredibly lucky so far this season.
The Flyers have only lost 73 man-games due to injury when you take Chris Pronger out of the mix. In perspective, only Colorado (69) and Ottawa (25) missed fewer during the first half of the season, according to the blog Springing Malik.
Pittsburgh (227), Tampa Bay (207) and Anaheim (205) have lost way more man-games to injury and still sit at or near the top of their divisions.
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