Sean Couturier out three to four months after back surgery; James van Riemsdyk out six weeks


The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that forward Sean Couturier has undergone back revision surgery and is expected to miss the next three to four months.

Couturier recently returned to skating to get back into skating form, but coach John Tortorella said he had a setback and had to stop.

Couturier, 29, hasn’t played this season after reinjuring his back. Couturier required back surgery in February and played in just 29 games in 2021-22, scoring six goals and 17 points. Couturier has had a grab bag of different injuries recently, including knee, chest and hip issues, with the Flyers forward last playing a full season during the COVID-interrupted 2019-20 campaign.

The 2020 Selke Trophy winner has spent his entire career with the Flyers since getting drafted eighth overall in 2011, tallying 460 points in 721 games. Couturier is in the first year of an eight-season contract that pays him $7.75 million per campaign.

The team also confirmed that James van Riemsdyk will miss the next six weeks after finger surgery.

The 33-year-old winger has five points in six games this season, helping the Flyers become one of the more dangerous teams. He hasn’t played since Sunday’s game against the Sharks and was placed on injured reserve on Thursday.

Van Riemsdyk is a seven-time 20-goal scorer, registering 24 last year. He had a fantastic COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign, scoring 17 times and recording 43 points in 56 games to tie Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek for the team lead.

Philadelphia is first in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2-0 record through seven games. Most expected the Flyers to miss the playoffs, but the team has seemingly found it’s groove with Tortorella. Kevin Hayes leads the team with 10 points, while forwards Joel Farabee (five points) and Zack MacEwen (three points in five games), among others, have helped to pick up the slack with JVR and Couturier out of action.





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