BOSTON — After sitting our four games to spend time on conditioning, defenseman Andrew MacDonald was back in the Flyers' lineup Thursday in Boston.
In retrospect, McDonald said, he rushed back too soon from an unspecified injury. He missed most of training camp, but was deemed ready at the start of the season and played in the first five games and was mostly ineffective.
He spent the last week working out in the gym, getting his legs stronger, and feeling as if he was ready for the long haul.
"I was able to get some really good lifts in the gym, which I wasn't able to do through camp and through the start of the year because of games and practices," he said.
Before Thursday's game, MacDonald said the heavy lifting in the weightroom helped him to get "more stability and strength in the legs. I feel much better."
In his first five games this season, MacDonald said "just didn't have the juice I normally have, especially that first step, and for me that's pretty important. I just didn't have that explosiveness or power that allows me to jump in plays that I normally would."
He was paired with Shayne Gostisbehere on Thursday, and Christian Folin was a healthy scratch.
On Wednesday, coach Dave Hakstol had Mikail "Misha" Vorobyev centering the third line in practice and all but confirmed he would return to the lineup Thursday.
But in the 24 hours after practice, he reconsidered. Jordan Weal remained as the third-line center Thursday and Vorobyev sat out for the fourth straight game.
Having a 21-year-old sit in the press box, of course, is not conducive to his growth, so it's fair to wonder if the rookie will soon be sent to the AHL's Phantoms so he can play.