Injuries Pile Up, Flyers Lose Lilja For Six Weeks

25 Nov

WELLS FARGO CENTER — Bad has officially gotten worse. It’s not just Jaromir Jagr. Not just Chris Pronger, or even James van Riemsdyk. Now it’s Andreas Lilja too. After playing 9:01 of Friday’s contest, Lilja left with an injury that will further decimate the Flyers on the blue line.

In the third period, Lilja sustained a high ankle sprain. According to general manager Paul Holmgren, it will keep him on the shelf for six weeks.

Once again, it will be Kevin Marshall who has to do some quick traveling, seeing as how the Flyers play again in less than 24 hours and Chris Pronger is not yet ready to return from the virus he’s been battling.

“Chris is feeling better, but he’s still not feeling himself just yet,” said Holmgren. “We’re not sure [if it’s the flu], it’s some kind of a virus.”

The Flyers are also dangerously thin at forward as well. They have 12 healthy ones at the moment with neither van Riemsdyk nor Jagr coming back on Saturday. The hope is that van Riemsdyk won’t be out long, but Holmgren said he’s not sure if he needs to call up an extra forward.

“Obviously he’s not gonna play [Saturday],” said Holmgren. “We’ll have a better idea early in the week on James.”

Jagr said earlier in the week that he planned to sit out two games. Friday’s would qualify as the first and after Saturday’s in New York, he has five whole days to rest before the next game. Holmgren confirmed the target date saying, “we’re shooting for next Friday.”

Somehow, the Flyers have gotten away with getting bitten by the injury bug so many times.

“It gives other guys opportunities,” said Holmgren. “Obviously Matt Read and Harry Z[olnerczyk] and Zac [Rinaldo] are playing a little higher up in the lineup. Max Talbot gets more ice time. Sean Couturier gets more ice time. It’s good to see. I’m really happy with the way Marc-Andre Bourdon’s played. He’s played three good games for us and that’s a pleasant surprise.”

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