Nolan Patrick and Andrew MacDonald are both expected to take part in a full team practice Monday, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said before Saturday night's game against the Minnesota Wild at the Wells Fargo Center.
MacDonald has been missing from the lineup since Oct. 21, when he dragged himself from the ice after blocking a shot in the third period of a game here against Edmonton. Patrick was injured three days later when his head banged against the glass following a shoulder-to-shoulder check.
Patrick appeared on the brink of returning to play the end of that week, accompanying the team on a two-game road trip to Ottawa and Toronto, even participating in the team's full off-day practice. He missed both of those games and the five since, and did not accompany the team on a road trip to Chicago and St. Louis in early November.
Nevertheless, Hextall denied there had been setbacks in Patrick's recovery from what the team termed "an upper-body injury'' and is widely believed to be a concussion.
"There's been no setbacks," said the GM. "But there hasn't been enough progress or he would be playing.''
Patrick underwent an intense 45-minute session of skill and skating earlier Saturday and said afterward, "I'm tired now, but feeling good so …''
Said Hextall, "He had a good day. He's going to work his way back now. … He's got some work to do. He hasn't practiced with the team. He's been off for awhile. It's going to take a few days here to see where he's at.''
Hextall saw MacDonald's situation differently.
"He's been off for a bit, too. But Mac's not a guy who takes a long time to come back and get ready. He's not one of those heavy guys, but still been off for a bit, so we'll see. Hopefully he gets some good practice this week.''
The GM said the team would travel with seven defensemen but implied that Samuel Morin, who is still out with an undisclosed injury, would not be one of them.