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Read could return for Flyers

by Adam Kimelman

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Matt Read, who hasn't played since Feb. 20 because of torn muscles in his rib cage, took part in the Philadelphia Flyers' morning skate and looks like he'll return to the lineup.

The original diagnosis was for Read to miss six weeks, but if he does play Thursday against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, he'll have missed two weeks and one day. He left the lineup after a hard hit by the Penguins' Chris Kunitz in the first period of that Feb. 20 game.

"Just getting better every day," Read said. "I look forward to getting back into lineup. It's gone day to day right now. It's getting better."

Read said he still has soreness when he shoots the puck.

"I've still got to do some treatments, some stretching and see how I feel," Read said. "It's really not my decision, it's [coach Peter] Laviolette and [general manager Paul Holmgren] if they want me out there."

Read came off with the rest of the group when the skate ended, and Mike Knuble, the lone available extra forward, stayed out for more skating, leading to the assumption that Read will play Thursday.

Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann also took part in the morning skate after leaving in the first period of the game Tuesday against the New York Rangers with a lower-body injury. Grossmann would not talk about his availability for the game.

Here is how the Flyers' lineup could look when they take the ice against the Penguins:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Danny Briere - Wayne Simmonds

Simon Gagne - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Zac Rinaldo - Ruslan Fedotenko - Maxime Talbot

Braydon Coburn - Nicklas Grossmann

Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn

Erik Gustafsson - Bruno Gervais

Ilya Bryzgalov

Brian Boucher

Scratched: Mike Knuble, Kurtis Foster

Injured: Tye McGinn (orbital), Jody Shelley (hip), Andrej Meszaros (shoulder)


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