FORHEES, NJ – Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire 2022-23 season of the Flyers as he continues to battle a multi-layered injury in his pelvic region.
Chief Executive Chuck Fletcher hasn’t ruled out that Ellis’ injury could end his career.
“Of course that’s a possibility,” he said at the start of the Flyers’ training camp on Thursday.
“I’ll just say my guess is that he won’t play this season. If he does, it will be a bonus. That’s how we prepared this offseason by making the additions we made on the blue line.”
The first pair defender was forced to drop out for all but four games last season, his first with the Flyers. It was the club’s precious off-season addition last summer. In an attempt to fill the Flyers’ void on their superior defensive pair, Fletcher acquired Ellis in an exchange with the Predators.
At his end-of-season press conference in April, Ellis expressed optimism about finally understanding the exact nature of the injury and identifying a rehabilitation plan for his comeback this season. The recovery met roadblocks in July, when the 31-year-old was supposed to step up things.
“Rehabilitation, there were ups and downs,” Fletcher said. “I think he made progress in the beginning of the summer. I would say there have been no visible signs of progress in the last couple of months. It was a frustrating injury. Nobody is more frustrated than Ryan. Nobody wants to play more than Ryan. But now. we’re dealing with reality. He’s not skating, so clearly he’s a long way from playing. “
At this time, surgery doesn’t seem like a viable option due to the complexity of the injury.
“I know we were probably vague in describing the injury. I think we called it multifaceted, and it is,” Fletcher said. “There is a psoas (back muscle) component of this, there is a hip component, there is an abductor component. So I’m not sure if you go in and fix one part, it will fix everything.
“We are trying to work trying to recover everything, rehabilitate everything back. I have never heard of an injury like this, it is very complicated. A torn psoas is a very significant injury for a hockey player, a very rare injury. our best and we will leave it to the medical experts. “
Fletcher said putting Ellis in reserve for long-term injuries is an option for the Flyers. They will have that decision towards the end of the preseason or the beginning of the regular season.
This summer, the Flyers swapped for Tony DeAngelo, who is expected to be Ivan Provorov’s new flagship partner. They also brought Justin Braun back to free agency to consolidate their third couple.
Ellis sustained the injury in the Flyers preseason finale last year, on October 18. 8. He said it was an injury he had never faced before. He was able to play in the Flyers first three regular season games before realizing he had to get out. After missing nine games, Ellis suffered a new injury upon his return to training in November. It turned out to be his last game of the season.
Ellis and the Flyers are hoping it won’t be the last game of his NHL career.
“Extremely frustrating for him,” Fletcher said. “I don’t think he ever expected to be swapped out of Nashville, I think he thought he was going to be a Predator forever. He got over the initial shock of being swapped, came here, dived right away, was a great companion. team, took Ivan Provorov under his wing. Honestly they had breakfast, they had lunch together every day, they were inseparable trying to build that chemistry.
“He was so excited to start the season. When he played, he played well. Nobody wants to play more than Ryan Ellis. I know people in this market haven’t had a great chance to see him, but a high-end competitor, He’s been a lot. difficult for Ryan as a human being to try to get healthy and try to be part of what we’re building here and playing.
“We will hope for the best. Things can change quickly, as we have seen for both good and bad. We keep hoping.”
Carter Hart has called Ellis an “unreal defender” and a “huge defeat” if he is unable to play this season. Ellis was able to organize a team meeting recently at Nicolas Deslauriers’ home.
“It was great to see him there, we haven’t seen him in a while,” Hart said. “It was nice to see him and his family was with him, he was in a good mood.”
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