Left winger Joel Farabee, one of the most important players in the Philadelphia Flyers’ lineup, continues to make strides following neck surgery in mid-June.
Farabee took part in an informal intrasquad scrimmage at the Flyers’ practice facility Tuesday in Voorhees. And though he wasn’t available afterward to discuss his health, teammate Scott Laughton sounded impressed.
“He looked great, looked smooth,” said Laughton, one of a handful of veterans who was on the ice with the prospects — more than three weeks before training camp opens. “It definitely takes some time to get your strength back, and I know he’s been working really hard off the ice. We’re looking forward to getting him back.”
Farabee, 22, was expected to miss the early part of the season. Does his progression mean there’s a chance he could be in the lineup Oct. 13, when the Flyers open their season against visiting New Jersey?
“Too early to say,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said on Tuesday. “We’ll have to see how things progress and what the doctor says.”
Still, it’s a good sign Farabee is on the ice. When healthy, he figures to be the Philadelphia Flyers’ top-line left winger. He had 17 goals in just 63 games last season.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) August 30, 2022
Compared to the beginning of last season, left wing is weak at the moment because of Farabee’s injury and Claude Giroux being dealt in March.
At the start of last season, the Flyers’ left wingers were Giroux, Farabee, Oskar Lindblom, and Max Willman. (James van Riemsdyk started the season at right wing.)
This year, the Flyers could start with these left wingers: van Riemsdyk, Laughton, Noah Cates, and Nic Deslauriers.
In late June, Fletcher said Farabee should make a full recovery in three to four months. Based on that estimate, he would be ready around Oct. 24 in a worst-case scenario.
Farabee underwent successful disc-replacement surgery in his cervical region in June. He was injured early in the summer while doing workouts. Fletcher said he was warming up with light weights on the bench press and felt a “pinching sensation” in his neck area.
Four days later, he had surgery, the same operation performed on Jack Eichel, who returned to play for Vegas a little over three months later. Eichel had 25 points, including 14 goals, in 34 games.
Now Farabee is working on an impressive comeback.