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Upshall Back at Practice

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Gagne leaves ice early, will not play Tuesday or Wednesday

by Kevin Kurz

(Philadelphia, PA, March 19) – Following the annual team picture at the Wachovia Center on Monday morning, there was some good news and bad news following practice regarding the injured Flyers.

First, the good news: Scottie Upshall, who left last Thursday's game with an upper body injury, took part in the entire skate and feels like he will be able to return in less than the anticipated two weeks that it was thought would take for him to recover. 

"I really don't know the timeline, but I think it's getting a lot better than scheduled," said Upshall after practice. "I felt fine today. I hope to get better every day until I feel good enough to play in a game.

"As far as conditioning goes, I'm fine. I'm not cleared to play, but it's coming along well."

John Stevens was also happy to see his speedy winger back on the ice.

"I thought he was going to get off the ice early, but he stayed the whole time. We're encouraged by that," said Stevens.

Now, the bad news: Simon Gagne, who has been sidelined with a left groin strain since leaving the game early on March 10, left the ice early and will not be in the lineup when the Flyers host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night or face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

"I don't know what is going to be the plan right now," said Gagne. "I will talk with [Flyers trainer] Jim [McCrossin] and see what we want to do.

"Right now, with the way I skated yesterday and today, I'd say I'm at about 80 percent. I don't know if I'll get close to 100 percent, but I'll keep practicing until I can feel well enough to play a game. But, now it's not the case."

Gagne would like to get back as soon as possible to help the team finish strong in its final 10 games of the season.

"Personally and as a team, we want to finish strong," said Gagne. "In terms of my health, there is no rush for me to come back, because we are out of the playoffs. On the other hand, I want to be back to finish strong and play a couple games."

Biron Seeing Area with his Family

It has been well publicized recently that Flyers goaltender Martin Biron wants to make sure that he and his family feel comfortable in the Philadelphia area before the potential free agent goaltender starts to have serious discussions with the club about a contract extension.

That being said, Flyers fans that hope to see him here in the future should be encouraged by his latest update on Monday morning, as he and his family continue to get acclimated to their surroundings.

"It was nice to drive around, although everything is covered in ice and snow right now. I thought I was coming to a warmer climate," he joked. "Yesterday was a nice day to just quiet down. [My family and I] were able to go to dinner. Everything seems to be falling into place with the team and the feeling around here.

"We'll see what the [agents] can talk about over the next couple of weeks. That is definitely something I'm excited about and definitely something I want to keep pursuing."
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