Danny Briere's latest groin injury, suffered in Thursday's 5-1 loss to Calgary, is not as severe as first feared.
The Flyers' center was examined by Dr. William Meyers today and, according to Briere, he could play as early as Tuesday against visiting Buffalo.
When he met with reporters today, Briere was all smiles.
"It's a big relief this morning, no doubt about it," Briere said. "It wasn't as bad as we thought last night. I had a little workout this morning and I'm hoping to get back on the ice tomorrow skating. I'm probably not expecting to play tomorrow night's game, but after that, anything is possible. It's day to day after that."
That means he will sit out Saturday against Nashville, but could return Tuesday.
This season, Meyers has operated twice on Briere, who on Thursday played in just his third game since Dec. 2. He has played in only 12 games this season.
According to Briere, Meyers told him "adhesions broke (Thursday) and there's internal bleeding. He saw swelling. He also told me it wasn't abnormal. Everybody's body reacts to surgery and to adhesions differently, but he's seen this before and he said most guys go through ups and downs, but it's just a little downer right now and hopefully within a couple days I'll be back playing."
Briere said he hoped to practice with the team tomorrow "and after that, we'll evaluate it on a day-to-day basis."
The Flyers are 3-6-3 with Briere in the lineup (1-5-3 when he has played a full game), but that stat is misleading because it includes the 0-3-3 start - when all the players had awful numbers.
They are 31-13-7 without him.
Briere left Thursday's contest late in the second period, but he re-aggravated his groin in the opening period.
"It started earlier in the game and it just kept tightening up," Briere said. "You know how it is. Being down 4-0 after the first period, I didn't want to leave the guys and say, 'I can't play anymore.' And honestly, I thought it was just a little bit of tightness and would get better as the game went on. But it just kept getting worse and worse."
In his first few second-period shifts, Briere said, "I had a hard time taking off. I would go in the corner, and I had a hard time just fighting for the puck because I was just trying to protect it (his groin), and by the end of the second period, I had no strength left on that side."
As he went into the dressing room Thursday, "I was thinking I probably tweaked it and it'll probably be another two to four weeks," Briere said. "That was my initial reaction, but I'm not a doctor, so what I learned this morning was a big relief."