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Flyers’ Noah Cates Returns to Lineup: ‘I needed some time’

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Noah Cates
Noah Cates spoke with media on Monday after being activated from injured reserve. (Photo: Philadelphia Flyers on X)

The Philadelphia Flyers are getting healthy at the right time of year.

On Monday, the team announced that they would be activating forward Noah Cates from the injured reserve. Cates, 24, had missed the previous 22 games for the Flyers after suffering a broken foot against the New York Islanders on Nov. 25. He will return to the Flyers’ lineup on Monday night against the St. Louis Blues, while Sean Couturier and Jamie Drysdale remain out.

“The frustrating thing for me with Catesy was, we put him on wing, we leaned into him a little bit about trying to create some offense and I thought he probably had his best offensive game,” head coach John Tortorella said a few days after the injury. “Breaks his foot at the beginning of the second period [against the Islanders], plays through it. A little frustrating we couldn’t see him more after playing a pretty good offensive game, but it’s gonna give people opportunities.”

Morgan Frost, Bobby Brink, Rhett Gardner, and Olle Lycksell have been some players who have benefited from those opportunities, but none managed to capitalize permanently. Twenty-two games later, Cates returns to the Flyers lineup with a clear head.

“I thought [the Islanders game] was, like I said, one of my better games,” Cates reflected. “I felt like I was playing how I want to play, and yes, obviously mentally preparing for when I get back. How I want to play and the little things I want to do and want to get back to, so that’s definitely a game I’ve been thinking about.”

“I just felt like I needed some time. . . having a couple months with the foot [a mental reset] was kind of welcomed with that,” Cates offered.

The defensive maven will return to the Flyers on Monday night on a line with Brink and Nick Deslauriers.

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Jonathan Bailey has been Philly Hockey Now's Flyers beat reporter since 2023. He can be reached on Twitter/X @ByJonBailey, or via email at jonathanbaileyy@gmail.com

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