Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 5/5/12

Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros is nearing a return to the ice after back surgery ended his regular season in March.

The Philadelphia Flyers face a critical game 4 tomorrow night in their best of 7 series against the New Jersey Devils. With the Flyers trailing in the series and in desperate need of a win, news came today that the Flyers may get one key player back, but lose another.

Sean Couturier, the 19 year old rookie who has played so well defensively in the postseason and even netted himself his first career hat trick, left Thursday’s game with what was thought to be a cut on his leg. Later in the game, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Couturier would not return to the game after sustaining a lower body injury.

Some have speculated that Couturier may not just have suffered a cut, but maybe a more significant knee injury. Couturier, according to reports, skated before the Flyers’ practice today, but the Flyers list him as day-to-day. Judging by appearances, it looks like the team may have to do without one or their top young players.

On the flip side of the coin, the Flyers may be getting back one of their most reliable defensemen in Andrej Meszaros. Meszaros had back surgery in March and hasn’t played since. However, he has been skating with the team recently, and appears close to returning. He practiced with the team today and was not limited in contact.

Getting Andrej Meszaros back could be a huge boost to the Flyers defense. Meszaros has been missed, but the addition of Nicklas Grossman may have hidden that fact some. The bottom line is that Meszaros makes the defense better and the team better. He will be a welcome addition to a team that could really benefit from some defensive stability, not to mention a nasty slap shot from the point.

The Flyers need a win in the worst way. The loss of Sean Couturier is a big one for the Flyers, and his defensive presence will be missed, but getting Andrej Meszaros could at least slightly offset that.

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