Another key figure in the Flyers lineup has gone down with a significant injury long before the regular season begins.
Last month, No. 1 center Sean Couturier suffered a knee injury in a charity game which will keep him out of action until the middle of preseason.
Sunday came word that veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered what general manager Ron Hextall is calling a “lower-body’’ injury during an offseason workout. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.
That means he probably won’t be back until near the end of October or about 10 games into the season. The Flyers open regular-season play in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights on Oct. 4.
MacDonald, who turned 32 this past Friday, is coming off what was arguably his best season as a Flyer, playing in 66 games with six goals, 15 points and a plus-8.
Since coming to Philadelphia in a trade with the New York Islanders during the 2013-14 season, MacDonald has played in 244 games with 11 goals, 52 assists for 63 points.
MacDonald caused a stir a few years ago when he was given a five-year, $30-million contract. During the 2015-16 season, he was sent down to the Phantoms for 43 games, making the signing look somewhat questionable.
But MacDonald has bounced back to have two solid seasons.
With MacDonald out for training camp (which opens Friday) and the preseason, the door is left open for some young defense prospects to possibly win a temporary job with the team.
Some candidates to look for include Phil Myers, Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim, as well as veteran T.J. Brennan.