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Flyers' Lecavalier returns from back injury

Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 7:18 PM / News

By Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

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Flyers' Lecavalier returns from back injury
Philadelphia Flyers forward Vinny Lecavalier made an earlier-than-expected return from injury Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Nationwide Arena.

COLUMBUS - Philadelphia Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier made an earlier-than-expected return from injury Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Lecavalier was expected to be out until early January with a non-displaced back fracture and had not played since Nov. 30 against the Nashville Predators. He skated with the team Saturday morning and was not scheduled to play, but Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said prior to the game that Lecavalier would replace forward Steve Downie, who will miss seven to 10 days with an upper-body injury.

Lecavalier, who has missed the past nine games, has nine goals and 14 points in 22 games in his first season with Philadelphia. He signed with the Flyers during the summer after being bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Holmgren also announced that defenseman Nicklas Grossman will miss the game because of the flu. He'll be replaced by Hal Gill, a healthy scratch for the past 20 games.

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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

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