Flyers' Andrej Meszaros out a month with shoulder injury

Former Flyers Mike Knuble was signed to a one-year contract to replace Scott Hartnell.
Former Flyers Mike Knuble was signed to a one-year contract to replace Scott Hartnell. (STAN GILLILAND / AP)
Posted: January 27, 2013

A day after the Flyers earned their first win of the season, the news grew more grim on the injury front.

General manager Paul Holmgren said on Friday that defenseman Andrej Meszaros is expected to miss a month after suffering a left-shoulder injury during Thursday's 2-1 win over the visiting New York Rangers.

Meszaros was hurt when he was hit by Ryan Callahan late in the second period. Veteran Andreas Lilja has been recalled from the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, to replace Meszaros.

"Right now we're hoping it is about a four-week rehabilitation of the injury," Holmgren said. "It's a muscle injury in and around his shoulder joint. We've just got to try to get it stronger. We believe he's going to be out for about a month."

The Flyers (1-3) have been losing players as fast as games. Since the season began Jan. 19, the Flyers lost Zac Rinaldo, who is out with a leg laceration; Scott Hartnell, who had surgery Friday to repair a broken first metatarsal in his left foot and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks; and now Meszaros.

And that doesn't include Danny Briere, who has yet to see action due to a hairline fracture of his left wrist.

On Thursday, Holmgren said the odds of Briere making his debut this weekend are "50-50."

A day later, Holmgren didn't sound hopeful that Briere would play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers. The Flyers also play Sunday in Tampa Bay and Tuesday in New York against the Rangers.

"He is, I guess, a possibility Saturday and probably a better chance Sunday, and an even better chance Tuesday," Holmgren said. "We will see how he is [Saturday] morning."

Holmgren said the Flyers have no choice but to regroup from the injuries.

"As far as being snakebitten with injuries, we've lost I believe three players - Rinaldo, Hartnell, and now Meszaros - to somewhat significant injuries," he said. "I'm not sure we're much different than a lot of teams in the league."

Holmgren understands that nobody will feel sorry for the Flyers.

"We've just got to fight through it and take the approach that it's opportunities for other players," he said.

To replace Hartnell, the Flyers signed right wing Mike Knuble on Friday to a one-year contract. Both Lilja and Knuble will be available Saturday.

Hartnell remained upbeat, at least on Twitter.

"Thanks for all the well wishes!!," Hartnell tweeted. "Really appreciate the support. Drinking milk by the gallon now!!!!!"

This is Knuble's second go-around with the Flyers, where he was popular during his first stint from 2005 through 2009. Knuble scored 114 goals in his four seasons with the Flyers.

He signed as a free agent with Washington in July 2009 and played three seasons for the Caps. Now 40, the 6-foot-3, 229-pound Knuble has 274 career goals.

"It's a great organization, and it's a place that I kind of had to leave because of salary-cap things," said Knuble, who was playing for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins on a 25-game tryout contract. "I didn't really want to go, and I said that at the time, but it's great to have the opportunity to come back and help out."

Knuble had just six goals and 12 assists in 72 games last season for Washington. He added two goals and one assist in 11 playoff games.

"I'm pretty realistic that for a guy like me, you're going to be a spot-filler, going to fill some holes at times, and come in and do what's asked of you, play where you need to play," Knuble said. "You're going to go out and try to do your best in that role that night and try to do what you can do."

Out of the Lineup

Here are the Flyers out of action due to injury:

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros: Out for a month with a injured left shoulder.

Center Zac Rinaldo: Out for at least a few more days with a leg laceration.

Right wing Scott Hartnell: Out for four to eight weeks with a broken bone in his left foot.

Center Danny Briere: Day-to-day with a hairline fracture of his left wrist.

Contact Marc Narducci at or follow on Twitter @sjnard.

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