Flyers' Carter takes next step in injury comeback

MONTREAL (AP) — Philadelphia's Jeff Carter took part in his first full team practice since breaking his right foot last month, but general manager Paul Holmgren says it's too early to tell when the forward can return in the playoffs.

Declining to provide a timetable for the player's return, Holmgren was encouraged after watching Carter skate Thursday during practice before Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference final series against Montreal, which the Flyers lead 2-0.

Referring to both Carter and injured forward Ian Laperriere (concussion), Holmgren said: "Both of these players are big parts of our team. And when they're ready fitness-wise, we'll talk about it. But we're not at that point yet."

Carter has missed 10 games since being struck by teammate Chris Pronger's shot in Game 4 of the Flyers' opening-round series against New Jersey. Carter led Philadelphia with 33 goals in the regular season, and had two goals and an assist in four playoff games before getting hurt.

Laperriere, who's been cleared for contact, has been out since being struck by a puck to the head while blocking a shot in Game 5 against the Devils.

Carter showed few signs of the injury during team drills, and had no difficulty pushing off his right foot from a stopped start. During a 2-on-1 drill, Carter neatly handled Arron Asham's pass by using his skates to kick the puck up to his stick and drive in on net.

Carter stayed on the ice to continue skating after many of his teammates left for the locker room.

Coach Peter Laviolette declined to go into much detail in discussing Carter, except to say "Jeff looked good on the ice."

Carter did not make himself available to reporters.