Farabee looks ahead of schedule in recovery from neck surgery

Joel Farabee

VOORHEES, N.J. – Joel Farabee endured several on-ice crashes last season and didn’t miss any significant playing time because of them.

Then he goes to lift a 90-pound weight in the training room and ends up on the operating table getting surgery on his neck.

Seems almost typical of the bad luck the Flyers have suffered over the past year or so.

The good news is Farabee has been recovering faster than originally scheduled. The initial timeline had him out for a couple months but on Thursday, Farabee was wheeling around the Flyers Training Center ice for the first day of training camp and looking pretty mobile.

There is hope he could be cleared to play for the regular season opener on Oct. 13.

After the workout, Farabee updated his condition.

“I feel really good,’’ said Farabee, who led the Flyers in goals back in the 2020-21 season. “I’m constantly talking with my doctor (Dr. Jon Yoon at Pennsylvania Hospital).

“I can’t confirm what my timeline (for a return to action) is yet but for right now I feel really good. I’ve been lifting quite a bit, definitely getting my body to where it needs to be.’’

Farabee disclosed he was suffering a lot of nerve pain going down his arm so he chose to have a “new” surgery that only three NHL players have underwent.

“He (Yoon) did a great job and I feel really good now,’’ Farabee said. “I’m having no issue with it.’’

Farabee said he wasn’t doing anything extraordinary in the weight room when the injury occurred. He was racking some weights, reached back and felt a sudden pain in his neck.

With veterans such as Sean Couturier and Patrick Brown out for at least the near future, new head coach John Tortorella could be counting on young veterans such as Farabee for leadership in the locker room.

“I think the benefit of our organization is how many good young prospects we have,’’ Farabee said. “We have a lot of guys who are going to be pushing for spots on this team.

“For me, I’m still a young guy (22). Any help for them I can have I’m always there. I think having ‘Torts’ really push us and having those young guys see how hard it is to play in the NHL and stay there will be good. I’ll lead by example. Just work hard, keep my head down and show these guys what it takes.’’

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Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.