Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier has experienced a setback in his recovery from a back reinjury, according to head coach John Tortorella.
Couturier had been skating recently to work his way back into game form, and had previously said that he was feeling good in his recovery. However, a setback seemed to have occurred down the line, as Tortorella has said that he’s not ready to be skating.
Couturier’s back reinjury was initially reported on at the start of training camp, which was significant news considering that he missed the final four months of the season after undergoing back surgery as well. While the reinjury was in the same area, neither Couturier or the team were sure if it was the same issue.
The team gave an initial recovery timeline of 6-8 weeks, which we are now halfway through the fifth week of. It was reported at the time that if the recovery didn’t occur in that timeframe, they might explore another surgery for Couturier, but there has been no word on if that’s being considered at this moment.
At this point, Couturier hasn’t played a game since December 18, 2021, and that might be extended for a while at the current rate of his recovery. He got into just 29 games last season, with six goals, 11 assists, and 17 points in that span. He also starts the first year of an eight year extension with a $7.75 million cap hit, one he signed with the Flyers in the 2021 offseason.
The Flyers have been off to a surprisingly solid start, even without both their top center in Couturier and one of their best defensemen in Ryan Ellis. They’re off to a 4-2-0 start to the season, good for third in the Metropolitan division, and a significant improvement on their last place finish in the division last year.