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Flyers sign vet Knuble, lose Meszaros for month

by Adam Kimelman

The Philadelphia Flyers couldn't even celebrate their first victory of the season without more bad news to digest.

Hours after revealing top-line forward Scott Hartnell would miss four-to-eight weeks with a broken first metatarsal in his left foot, the team lost defenseman Andrej Meszaros for at least a month with a shoulder injury.

Meszaros appeared to sustain an injury to his left shoulder on the final shift of the second period Thursday when he collided with the New York Rangers' Ryan Callahan.

"Andrej Meszaros has a left shoulder injury," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the team's website. "He's going to miss some time and right now we're hopeful it's going to be a four-week rehabilitation of the injury. It's a muscle injury in and around the shoulder joint and we just have to get it strong. We believe he's going to be out for about a month."


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It's a tough break for Meszaros, who spent the lockout recovering from a torn Achilles tendon sustained during workouts in August.

In four games this season, Meszaros has a minus-1 rating with five shots on goal.

To replace him on the roster, the Flyers called up veteran defenseman Andreas Lilja, 37, from their American Hockey League team, the Adirondack Phantoms. Lilja had six points in 46 games with the Flyers last season, but was waived in training camp and reassigned to the AHL. In four AHL games he had two assists and a minus-2 rating.

"He's played very good with the Phantoms," Holmgren said. "He's a good guy; he's got a lot of life to his game. I think he was real good for our young players down there and they got a chance to play with a guy who has been on a Stanley Cup champion and been around a long time. He shows enthusiasm and a real good attitude for the game."

The Flyers also officially signed forward Mike Knuble to a one-year, $750,000 contract and he will be available for the game Saturday at the Florida Panthers. Knuble, who had been playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL on a professional tryout agreement, arrived in Philadelphia in time to fly with the team to Florida.

This will be Knuble's second stint with the Flyers. The 40-year-old forward had 114 goals -- including a career-best 34 in 2005-06 -- and 221 points in 310 games in his four seasons with Philadelphia (2005-09).

"It's the first time I've double-dipped on a team," Knuble told the team's website of his return. "It's a place where you feel very comfortable with the staff, the people you see at the rink every day. You know your way around, you know a few guys in the locker room who were still there when you were.

"It's a great organization and it's a place that I had to leave because of salary cap things and you didn't really want to go, and I said that at the time, but it's great to have that opportunity to come back and help out."

"It's a great organization and it's a place that I had to leave because of salary cap things and you didn't really want to go, and I said that at the time, but it's great to have that opportunity to come back and help out."
-- Mike Knuble on his return to the Philadelphia Flyers

Five players remain from Knuble's last season with the Flyers -- Hartnell, Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and Claude Giroux. However, his reputation around the League makes his new teammates excited to have him on board.

"He's a big guy in front," Maxime Talbot said. "He tips a lot of pucks. He's been a dangerous weapon in front of the net. You need a guy like that to get some goals. And he's a veteran presence, as well."

"He's played a long time in this League," added Wayne Simmonds. "He's a great player. He's a great net-front presence. I think I can learn some things from him."

Knuble will attempt to make up for the absence of Hartnell, who had surgery on his foot Friday.

"Scott Hartnell had successful surgery today to repair a broken first metatarsal in his left foot," Holmgren said in a statement. "The surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Raikin. Recovery is expected to be 4-6 weeks."

Holmgren said Briere, who has yet to play a game this season after injuring his left wrist playing in Germany during the lockout, is "50/50" for the games this weekend.

"He's still a possibility [for] Saturday," Holmgren said. "Probably a better chance on Sunday and an even better chance on Tuesday, but we'll see how he is [Saturday] morning."


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