Flyers take another big hit on injury front, leading to Allison's season debut


VOORHEES, N.J. — When it rains, it pours, huh?

"I would say that it's a good thing I don't have any hair because I wouldn't have any hair left by the end of this year if that were the case," Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said Friday with a slight smile. "I've been coaching for a while; I haven't really seen anything like this."

A day after the Flyers polished off the wrong kind of franchise history by losing 10 straight games for the second time in one season, they lost another key player to an injury.

Joel Farabee will miss up to four weeks because of an upper-body injury. He was placed on injured reserve along with Kevin Hayes, who is out three to four weeks after undergoing a procedure Tuesday morning to drain fluid from his adductor region (core area).

Farabee is dealing with an issue near the area of the left shoulder he injured earlier in the season. During the third period of the Flyers' 4-3 shootout loss Thursday night to the Islanders, the 21-year-old winger skated to the bench hunched over after taking a hit. Farabee pointed to the area of his left shoulder when he was being evaluated by Flyers director of medical services Jim McCrossin. He was able to finish the game. Farabee missed about two weeks in December after initially injuring the shoulder.

"There's a good chance that it's related to that [hit] but something did happen in the game there yesterday," Yeo said.

Farabee was able to play 20:59 minutes Thursday night in the Flyers' 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets.

"I'm not 100 percent sure if it's the exact same thing," Yeo said of this injury in relation to Farabee's previous one. "I would say it's same location, I'd say it's similar.

"With this specific injury, everyone felt pretty comfortable that Joel was ready to return. And obviously he played quite a bit of hockey and played some really good hockey for us."

The Flyers are now without Farabee, Hayes, Sean Couturier (upper body), Ryan Ellis (lower body), Derick Brassard (hip), Nate Thompson (shoulder) and Patrick Brown (MCL sprain).

After going 0-8-2 from Nov. 18 to Dec. 8, the club is now 0-7-3 in its last 10 games. The Flyers' last win was Dec. 29 and their last regulation win was Dec. 14.

On their second 10-game losing streak, they've been outscored 37-19. They also battled COVID-related absences through the first half of the skid and have been besieged by injuries. The Flyers head to Buffalo, New York at 13-19-8 overall as they meet the Sabres on Saturday (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

"Scratching our heads, but at the same time, driving into the rink today, it's weird, I'm still very grateful and very excited to have the opportunity to be here and to work with these guys," Yeo said. "I know that these guys are listening. I'm still excited about trying to find solutions and trying to find a way to get us in the win column here. I'm still excited about that game tomorrow.

"I know it's a huge challenge and I know that we're dealing with a ton of adversity — whether it's the injuries, whether it's the losses — but I think as a coach, you have to embrace that. We all love to win, that's why you do it. But it's times like these where the players need you the most as a coach. I'm excited about that."

There will be some excitement around the season debut of Wade Allison. He was called up Friday and will enter the lineup for Farabee. Jackson Cates was also recalled and will enter the lineup for Connor Bunnaman, who was loaned to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Allison, a 24-year-old winger with energy and a big shot, had three goals in his last three games for the Phantoms.

"This will be our first chance to see Wade," Yeo said. "Excited to see what he can bring. Obviously we haven't been scoring a lot of goals lately. He has the ability to put a puck in the net. He also brings a little life, he brings some enthusiasm, he's going to be excited to play. At a time when you're fighting some negative feelings, bringing some positivity in is a good thing."

Tyson Foerster, another prospect on the wing with an advertised shot, rehab skated Friday at Flyers Training Center. The 20-year-old is working his way back from shoulder surgery in November.

"Tyson, obviously a big part of our future here as far as his potential and what he can be," Yeo said. "But I also really like his attitude. He seems to be fully embracing the therapy, the work."

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