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by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

NEWARK, N.J. – While the Flyers continued their season-long road trip here in the Swampland, a very important part of the team was back at home and put on a pair of skates for the first time in three weeks.

Scott Hartnell was cleared by doctors to resume skating, and he did this morning for the first time.

Hartnell fractured his foot on Jan. 22 against the New Jersey Devils. He was hit in the same spot – twice – by two different slapshots – one by Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky and later by his own teammate Kimmo Timonen.

Hartnell underwent surgery and originally was given a 4-8 week timetable for recovery.

That was modified to 4-6 weeks after the surgery and he appears on target for such a return.

No one has a set date in mind, but the March 2 game at the Wells Fargo Center against Ottawa would be a day over five weeks from the time of the injury and would be a good tune-up game for Hartnell with games the following week in succession against the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Boston.

It appears Hartnell and defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who is also out f the lineup with a sprained shoulder, are on a nearly identical timetable for a return to action, which would be a big boon for the Flyers, who have played a much better brand of hockey over the past two weeks.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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