The last time the Philadelphia Flyers got a player back in their lineup following a broken foot, it was Simon Gagne, who sparked them to a historic comeback against the Boston Bruins and a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now they could be getting back even more offensive reinforcements.
Jeff Carter, who hasn't skated since breaking his right foot during Game 4 of the Flyers' first-round series against the New Jersey Devils, skated briefly on his own at the team's Voorhees, N.J., facility prior to the team's practice Monday.
Carter was on the ice for about 15 minutes, skating laps and shooting pucks before returning to the locker room prior to the rest of the team practicing.
"Surprising and great news for us," said Gagne to NHL.com's Mike Morreale at Monday's Flyers practice. "I don't think anyone was expecting Cartsie to skate that early when they were talking about six weeks (when he got hurt). So we were kind of looking at maybe if we go to the Stanley Cup Finals, but not in the third round. Seeing him today, able to skate by himself, is definitely great news and I'm very happy for him."
A source told Comcast SportsNet-Philadelphia's John Boruk that there is an outside chance Carter could play in Game 2 of the conference finals Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS), but that Game 3 Thursday could be a better option. A report on TSN has a source saying Carter will be back "later" in the series.
Carter led Philadelphia during the regular season with 33 goals, and he was second with 61 points. He had 2 goals and 3 points -- all of which came in Game 4 against New Jersey -- in four playoff games, the last of which was Game 4 when he was hit on the foot by a Chris Pronger shot.
This absence is the second foot injury for Carter, who missed eight games in late March and early April after breaking a bone in his left foot. He returned for the final two regular season games and first four playoff games.