Sean Couturier isn’t the only injured Flyers player who could make a return before the season comes to an end. Travis Konecny, who suffered an upper-body injury against Calgary on February 21st, has been skating recently as he tries to make a return as well.
As with Couturier, Konecny has been pushing himself recently as he works to get back up to speed with timing and everything.
"“Today and yesterday I pushed it quite a bit. Just trying to push my body and get myself back up to speed. That’s the main thing, just timing of shooting and all those things. Just getting it back.” Konecny said after Friday morning’s skate."
Going back to the injury, Konency knew something didn’t feel right when he was coming off the ice. His goal, at that moment, was to get back to the bench and the training staff as soon as possible. That has turned into 10+ games up to this point. Konecny himself mentioned there has been no timeline on when he may be back.
He and the Flyers training staff are taking things day by day and it’s important to have that balance between the two sides. Athletes are competitive by nature and certainly want to get back as soon as possible. But sometimes they need to be brought back down and told to slow down in order to get back as safe and healthy as possible.
"“It’s all about just listening to everbody’s opinions and making sure we’re all on the same page. Making sure we’re working together to get to the same solutions.”"
It goes to what John Tortorella talked about on Monday morning about the Flyers’ training staff. It was well-documented how too many players last season returned and then ended up re-injuring themselves a game or two later. It has been a work in progress in figuring out what was going on and how to stop it from happening again.
It won’t be fixed overnight but the team did make some changes during the offseason to work on that. One of those was hiring Ian McKeown as the Vice President of Athlete Performance and Wellness. He was brought in to help create health and wellness programs for the players.
"“I think there’s a huge scab on this organization with the medical situation that was prior. I was hired June 16th, that was the number one thing in my mind going on here. How are we going to get this straightened out as far as making sure they are more confident as far as how they are being treated.”"
Tortorella added that he doesn’t believe that they are necessarily being overly cautious with players. It’s about doing things the right way. Things have stabilized a bit over the season, but there is plenty of work to go in order to fix something that has seemingly been an issue for more than a few years.
It’s getting the players more confident in how they are being handled and treated. It’s about how the medical staff has communicated and isn’t necessarily jumping into any kind of operation.
So with that, there is some type of caution when it comes to Konecny and his return. Time is running out on a potential return this season. But if the medical staff gives him the green light to play, Tortorella said it’s going to be hard to not put him right back in.