Couturier Has Back Surgery, Out 3-4 Months

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Almost a month ago to the day, the Flyers had provided an update on Sean Couturier, that he would be out week-to-week, but not require surgery. While the lack of a surgery was good news, it didn’t provide much clarity on a timeline.

In the days that followed, Couturier did get back on the ice and start skating, but has since been off the ice. John Tortorella updated Couturier’s status earlier this week, saying he was “not ready” to be skating and had suffered a setback.

That brought everything to the news the Flyers released on Saturday morning. Couturier underwent back surgery on Thursday and will be out for the next three-to-four months.

It’s been a maddening process for Couturier, who last played in a game on Dec. 18, 2021. It was then that he started dealing with more symptoms that ultimately led to surgery this past February. Symptoms resurfaced over the summer and again in the days leading up to training camp, which led to this most recent surgery.

It takes a key piece off the ice for the majority of this season, as was initially reported at the start of training camp. But it also brings a ton of questions to Couturier’s future. Will he ever be the same player again? Probably not. Will he even play again? That’s an extremely valid question.

Couturier wasn’t the only player that the Flyers updated regarding an injury. James van Riemsdyk left Sunday’s game in the first period. It was revealed prior to Thursday’s game that he had a broken finger and would need surgery. That surgery was completed on Friday and there is now a timeline for his recovery.

van Riemsdyk will be out for six weeks as he is on the mend from surgery on his left index finger. He had a strong start to the season with two goals and three assists for five points in his first six games.

The timeline puts van Riemsdyk on track to return in mid-December, approximately around a Western Conference trip that features Vegas, Arizona, and Colorado starting on Dec. 9.

Meanwhile, the Flyers will press on with the group they have. They get back on the ice on Saturday night to face the Carolina Hurricanes before a three-game road trip to open the month of November.