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Flyers defensemen Coburn, MacDonald out four weeks

Mark AltThe Flyers took a huge blow to their already weak blue line.

Veteran defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald are expected to miss four weeks each due to injury.

The Flyers, who have seven defensemen on their roster prior to the injuries, will need to call one up. Mark Alt is expected to be that player called up.

Coburn suffered a setback recently after missing the past two weeks with a foot injury. He took a slap shot off his foot in the season opener against Boston and hasn't played since. The added time off suggests a possible fracture or break in his foot.

MacDonald was injured in the Flyers 5-3 win against the Penguins on Wednesday. The Flyers said it's a lower-body injury.

It's been reported that Alt has a name plate at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees already, signaling a call-up. The Flyers could roll with six defensemen or call someone else up to go with Alt.

Many are calling for Shayne Gostisbehere to be called up. But general manager Ron Hextall's stance on patience and letting a player develop suggests Gostisbehere will remain in Lehigh Valley.

Alt, 23, would be making his NHL debut. In 75 games last season with the Phantoms, Alt had four goals, 22 assists and was a minus-16. He has a goal in three games this season.

The Phantoms play the Hershey Bears tonight so an official call-up isn't expected until tomorrow.

Lecavalier returns -- The Flyers did get a little bit of good news today.

Forward Vincent Lecavalier returned to practice for the first time in over a week. He could be ready for Saturday's home game against the Red Wings. 

Can he play defense?


John Russo
Editor; Featured Writer
Twitter: @Roose_TCL@TCLFlyers