Out with a sports hernia that was expected to take six weeks to heal, Flyers’ goaltender Ray Emery is healthy and ready to play, a surprising 11 days early. Emery is expected to make his return on Saturday, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“If it came down to a do or die, I could play right now,” 27-year old Emery told CSNphilly.com. “I don’t want come back too soon, get hurt again or rush it. The weekend game is what I’m aiming for.”
Suffering the injury in early Dec. and opting for surgery on Dec. 9, the news of his return comes as a relief for the Flyers, as the team spent the holidays and into the New Year riding on the shoulders of sub par backups Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton. Boucher went 2-7-1 during his stint as starter, while Leighton managed an unexpected 4-2-1 record.
And although both back ups were satisfactory filling in, it should provide the players with some confidence to see a proven starter back between the pipes.
“I will play when I’m ready,” he said. “I can feel my body pretty good. Doctors know when something is healed and you yourself know when you’re ready to play and contribute to the team.”
It is unknown which back up, Leighton or Boucher, will be the odd-man out once Emery returns. General manager Paul Holmgren has hinted at keeping all three until health is assured.
In 21 games this season, Emery has a 2.83 goals against average and .901 save percentage. Razor has also lost five straight before going out with the injury.