PITTSBURGH – Closer. Ever closer.
That’s the way to look at the impending returns of Scott Hartnell and Andrej Meszaros to the Flyers lineup.
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced that Hartnell was cleared to begin practicing with the team (which likely won’t happen, because of the compact schedule, until a morning skate Saturday – although it’s possible an optional skate could happen Friday) and could have a return to game action in a week-to-10 days.
That means Hartnell could return as soon as next Wednesday against Washington or by March 2 against Ottawa, which was the original target date for his return.
As for Meszaros, Holmgren added that he has continued to improve and that his return could be coming soon as well.
Meszaros will visit a doctor tomorrow and the Flyers will give an update afterward.
Hartnell has played just three games for the Flyers, fracturing the first metatarsal on his left foot on Jan. 22 when he was hit by two slap shots in the same spot – first by Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky in the second period and later by teammate Kimmo Timonen in the third period. He had surgery to repair the fracture later that week.
Meanwhile Meszaros has played in only four games, suffering a severe sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the very next game against the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.
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