The Flyers got some good medical news Thursday.
Center Brayden Schenn, who was sent headfirst into the boards after a vicious hit Tuesday, returned to the lineup Thursday against visiting Columbus, and center Vinny Lecavalier had his best practice since injuring his back and said there was a "possibility" he could return for the six-game road trip that starts Dec. 28 in Edmonton.
Schenn, 22, was leveled by Washington's Tom Wilson, who, in a surprise, did not receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL after a hearing Thursday.
Schenn said he had no limitations.
"If I was limited or thinking I can't do this or can't do that, then I shouldn't be playing," he said after the morning skate. ". . . I feel good. I feel ready to go."
Saying he had "nothing more" than stiffness in his upper back and neck, Schenn said he was "lucky" not to be seriously injured.
Lecavalier, 33, said that he felt "a lot stronger" on the ice Thursday morning than in the previous day's skating session and that it was his "best day so far." He suffered a non-displaced fracture in his lower back on Nov. 30, and the spasms are decreasing each day, he said.
The Flyers have estimated that Lecavalier would be sidelined until early January, but he hopes to get back sooner.
Laughton named. Center Scott Laughton, the Flyers' No. 1 selection (20th overall) in the 2012 draft, has been named captain of Canada's World Junior team. The tournament runs Thursday through Jan. 5 in Sweden.
In 29 games with OHL Oshawa, Laughton has 24 goals and 50 points.
Flyers coach Craig Berube said Laughton, 19, displayed great leadership when he was with the team during the preseason. "He's a fiery guy and he plays with a lot of jam out there," Berube said. "He means business when he plays."
Even though the Flyers have lots of talent at center, Berube said he would be "hard-pressed to take that guy out of the middle of the ice" when Laughton makes the big-league team.
Berube said that Laughton is a better skater than Mike Richards, but that Richards has better instincts with the puck.