ST. PAUL, Minn. — Rookie center Nolan Patrick took part in the Flyers' morning practice and skated for a little more than an hour Tuesday, a sign he is making progress in his return from a concussion.
Patrick won't play when the Flyers (8-7-2) face Minnesota (7-7-2) on Tuesday night, but he might return Thursday in Winnipeg, his home city. The Flyers' next game after that will be Saturday afternoon against Johnny Gaudreau, Jaromir Jagr, and visiting Calgary.
Selected No. 2 overall in the June draft, Patrick will miss his ninth straight game.
"I'm just getting my cardio back; that's the main thing," Patrick, 19, said after Tuesday's workout.
He would like to play Thursday in his home city, but knows it's not his decision.
"It's up to the coaching staff, the trainers, and Hexy," he said, referring to general manager Ron Hextall. "If they think I'm ready to go and in good enough shape to help the team, then I assume I'll play. But if they think I need more time, it's all up to those guys and I really don't have to decide."
Patrick grew up about a 10-minute drive from Bell MTS Place, home of the Winnipeg Jets.
"It'll be good to see my family and friends," he said. "Obviously, it'll be nice to be home for a couple days."
Patrick was injured when a shoulder-to-shoulder hit by Anaheim's Chris Wagner caused the rookie's head to hit the glass Oct. 24. Before being sidelined, Patrick had a goal, two assists, and a plus-2 rating in nine games.
Veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald will skate Wednesday in Winnipeg for the first time since he injured his leg against Edmonton on Oct. 21. There is a slight chance he will play Saturday, but next Tuesday seems like a more realistic date.
The Flyers are 3-4-2 without MacDonald, who was on the top pairing with Ivan Provorov. Rookie Robert Hagg is now with Provorov.
Goalie Brian Elliott, who needs three wins to reach 200 in his career, will make his third straight start Tuesday. … The Flyers have outscored their opponents, 30-24, in five-on-five play; Minnesota is even (28-28) in those situations. … The Flyers' power play is tied for 15th in the NHL (18.6 percent success rate), and their penalty kill is just 19th (79.7 percent). … The Flyers are 1-6-2 when their opponent scores first.