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Joel Farabee May Be Ready for Flyers’ Opener After Quick Recovery

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Joel Farabee
Photo: Zack Hill.

When Philadelphia Flyers winger Joel Farabee had neck surgery in June, there seemed littler chance he would be available for the Oct. 13 season opener against New Jersey.

Today, there are indications he will be ready.

Farabee, 22, was cleared for full contact Thursday, and took part in practice Friday without any setbacks.

“When I first had the surgery, I didn’t think I was going to be in camp at all,” Farabee said after Friday’s practice. “So to be able to do all the skating and stuff in camp and do some of the practices, it was definitely good for me. … My conditioning is there, and like I said yesterday, I’ll just try to get the timing down and then I’ll be ready.”

Hopeful views

Both Farabee and coach John Tortorella seemed cautiously optimistic about Farabee playing in the opener. Both said they were hopeful, but it will depend on what the Philadelphia Flyers’ medical staff decides.

“I’m hoping for it,” Farabee said. “I can’t really confirm anything now. Obviously, I have to talk to the (medical) guys here. We have a few more days before the first game, but I’m really hoping to.”

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Farabee, who had 17 goals in 63 games last season,  said he has talked to Vegas’ Jack Eichel, who had the same surgery, and asked him what to expect.

“He was a little nervous before he took his first couple hits, but after that, he didn’t even think about it,” Farabee said.

Farabee said he felt the same way. He took some limited hits during the week, and was able to have full contact Friday.

“I don’t even think about it,” Farabee said. “I feel like I play my best when I do that. Obviously, some bad hits are going to come along the way, but I feel like my body’s in a good spot to handle all that.”

With Farabee, the Flyers’ lineup is upgraded. He could play either left or right wing, enabling Scott Laughton to be shifted to center on the second unit.

Farabee will probably end up in the top 6 after he gets some games under his belt, but might begin the season on the third line.

Should Farabee play, this could be the Flyers’ four lines:

  • Kevin Hayes centering Owen Tippett and Cam Atkinson.
  • Laughton centering Noah Cates and Travis Konecny.
  • Morgan Frost centering James van Riemsdyk and Farabee.
  • Tanner Laczynski centering Nic Deslauriers and Wade Allison.

The Philadelphia Flyers would prefer to have Allison in the top 9, and there are a lot of moving parts. Center Jackson Cates and right wingers Zack MacEwen and Hayden Hodgson are also battling for jobs.

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