Doctors at Philadelphia's Jefferson Hospital told Leighton on Thursday that he will miss the next 8-10 weeks with a severe high-ankle sprain suffered in Nashville on March 16, it was announced by General Manager Paul Holmgren.
"I'm going to do as much as I can to make that 8-10 turn into a shorter period of time," Leighton told CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panaccio. "I'm trying to stay positive. ... I have a lot of confidence in our team that we're gonna do well."
The 8-10 week timeframe means Leighton wouldn't be able to return until between May 15 and June 1. If so, he would miss at least two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and probably three -- assuming the Flyers got that far.
"To say my season is done, I don't really know if that's true or not," Leighton said. " ... I hope the team does really well and I get another chance."
Leighton was hurt while playing the puck 9:45 into the first period of the Nashville game.
"To say my season is done, I don't really know if that's true or not. ... I hope the team does really well and I get another chance." -- Michael Leighton
Leighton said it doesn't hurt when he stands straight up, but he feels the pain when he crouches forward in a goalie stance.
Brian Boucher, making his first start since Dec. 21, made 27 saves Thursday in the Flyers' 3-2 victory against the Stars in Dallas. It was his first win since Dec. 14.
Ray Emery started the season as the Flyers' No. 1 goalie, but his season ended in February due to a hip injury.
The Flyers acquired Leighton on waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 15. Leighton was 1-4-0 with a 4.28 goals-against average with Carolina, but is 16-5-2 with the Flyers, with a 2.48 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Boucher is 5-12-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .901 save percentage this season. He'll guide the Flyers for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.
The Flyers recalled Jeremy Duchesne on an emergency basis from AHL Adirondack to serve as the backup. Duchesne, 23, has appeared in two games with Adirondack this season, going 1-1-0 with a 1.02 GAA and .981 save percentage. He also played 19 games with the Flyers' ECHL affiliate, the Kalamazoo Wings, going 9-4-3-2 record with one shutout, a 3.20 GAA and .904 save percentage.
Duchesne is the son of a former NHL player, the late Gaetan Duchesne, who played 15 seasons for Washington, Quebec, Minnesota, San Jose and Florida.