The Flyers' James van Riemsdyk will miss four to six weeks after foot surgery

Posted: March 03, 2012

The Flyers will have to get along without James van Riemsdyk for the rest of the regular season and perhaps beyond.

The 22-year-old left winger will undergo surgery Tuesday on his left foot and miss four to six weeks, the Flyers announced.

The Flyers hope he can return when the playoffs start the second week of April. "I don't see why not," general manager Paul Holmgren said.

Van Riemsdyk scored seven goals in 11 games in last year's playoffs.

Van Riemsdyk broke a bone while blocking a first-period shot by Islanders defenseman Milan Jurcina in the Flyers' 6-3 win Thursday.

Surgeon Steven Raikin will insert a plate to help the healing, according to Holmgren, who noted that Chris Pronger, Simon Gagne, and Jeff Carter had recovered nicely from similar injuries.

Carter missed a month during the 2010 playoffs before returning in the conference semifinals against Montreal.

Van Riemsdyk had said he felt close to getting back to form after missing 15 games with a concussion. Since returning, he had two assists and no goals in six games.

The blocked shot Thursday - and van Riemsdyk's effort to return a short time later - inspired his teammates. The Flyers scored two first-period goals after the injury to erase an early 1-0 deficit.

"It gives a boost to the team," goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said. "It says, 'Hey, this guy battles, and we have to battle, too.' Then we get back to the game, and we score two goals and continue to push the pace of the game to the highest tempo. Eventually, it pays off very well."

Van Riemsdyk has 11 goals in 43 games. He scored 21 goals last season.

Holmgren said he would decide Saturday whether to recall a player. The Flyers could use Jody Shelley, a healthy scratch in 10 of the last 12 games, in Washington on Sunday night and opt not to recall a player.

Read reloads. Winger Matt Read ended a 12-game drought by scoring twice in Thursday's win over the Isles. He entered the night with one goal in his last 16 games.

"You're told when you go through those slumps to just keep working hard and doing the little things," Read said. "Maybe I was working too hard, or, I don't know, things weren't going my way. I was gripping the stick a little tight. You're told to go in front of the net and try to get rebound goals and dirty ones, and that's exactly where I went."

Read has 18 goals and is tied with Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog for the NHL rookie lead. Landeskog, 19, tops rookies with a plus-21 rating and many consider him the Calder Trophy favorite.

Read, 25, who is plus-11, says he is not concerned about the rookie-of-the-year race; he's just happy to be out of his scoring funk.

"It's a lot of weight off my shoulders," he said.

Breakaways. The Flyers matchup with the Capitals could be a first-round playoff preview. The Flyers will be aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 10-12. . . . Claude Giroux became just the fourth Flyer to ever have consecutive seasons with at least 50 assists. The others: Bobby Clarke, Brian Propp, and Mark Recchi. . . . The Flyers did not practice on Friday and are back on the ice Saturday in Voorhees at 11 a.m. . . . The Flyers' March 18 home game against Pittsburgh, originally scheduled for 3 p.m., has been moved to 12:30 p.m. because it will be on NBC. . . . A fund-raiser for the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation will be held Monday at 8 p.m. with a Flyers-themed quiz at Fado Irish Pub, 1500 Locust St.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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