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Flyers’ Rasmus Ristolainen comes off COVID list, but not quite ready to return; injury updates given



Ryan Ellis Rasmus Ristolainen, Philadelphia Flyers
Ryan Ellis (left) and Rasmus Ristolainen, two key parts of the Flyers' defense, are still sidelined.

Rasmus Ristolainen, the Philadelphia Flyers’ most physical defenseman, came off the COVID list Saturday and was at the team’s morning skate, but he will not play in tonight’s game against the first-place New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.

He also missed Thursday’s game in Boston, and the Flyers are hoping he can return Monday and face the host Islanders.

“He’s feeling OK,” interim coach Mike Yeo said after Saturday’s morning skate in Voorhees. ‘Obviously, not being on the ice for a few days (sets him back), and in checking in with him, he doesn’t feel quite there yet, so he won’t be in the lineup tonight. But obviously it’s really good to have him back. He’s been playing a lot of really good hockey for us, and he’s a real competitive guy. We miss him on the penalty kill and miss him in defensive situations, but you have to be sure the player is ready.”

Yeo also gave (rather ominous) updates on injured players Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, and Derrick Brassard.

Couturier and Ellis still are not able to skate, and there is no timetable for their returns, Yeo said. Brassard is not able to skate yet, either, but is listed as day to day, per Yeo.

The Flyers finally have no one on their COVID list. The 6-foot-4, 221-pound Ristolainen was the last player on it; he has eight points in 33 games and is minus-9 while leading the Flyers with 106 hits, the league’s 11th-highest total.

Former Flyer Radko Gudas, now with Florida, leads the NHL with 154 hits..


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