Many fans applauded Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier this past spring when he did not miss a game during the first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins after suffering a brutal knee injury.
However, it seems now that the story is repeating itself and there isn't a happy ending here. According to a report by the Journal de Montreal, Couturier re-injured the medial collateral ligament in his right knee that was injured back in April when the Flyers were in the postseason. The Flyers' No. 1 center had collided with defenseman Radko Gudas during one of the team's practice sessions amid a playoff series with Pittsburgh, but managed to play two games with the injury.
After suffering the painful injury in the spring, Couturier had noted that if the injury had occurred in the regular season it would have required a four-week recovery.
Now, it may be catching up with him... Training camp for the Flyers is a little more than three weeks away and while he has been seen at the team's practice facility, it's unclear what he's been able to do with the injury now re-agrravated.
The 25-year-old forward is coming off by far his best NHL season yet. He recorded a career-high 31 goals and 45 assists and finished runner-up to Los Angeles Kings' Anze Kopitar for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the league's best defensive forward, this summer.
According to the report from the Journal de Montreal, this time, the injury came on a routing move during a tournament called Boot Camp two weeks ago in Couturier's native Quebec. Earlier in the offseason, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Couturier had made a full recovery without surgery.
Losing Couturier for any amount of time would be a huge loss for the Flyers. Last year he centered their top line and finished second in goals (31) and third in points (76). It remains to be seen if Couturier will miss some preseason or regular season action. It seems to be too soon to tell.
There is at least one thing that can reassure the Flyers and their fan base: Philadelphia will look for James van Riemsdyk to see time on the first line as well if Couturier is out. Van Riemsdyk was signed by the Flyers this season after spending the last six years with the Toronto Maple Leafs .