Farabee’s Injury Could Be Troubling for Flyers

With the 2021-22 NHL season officially in the rearview mirror for the Philadelphia Flyers, it is time for the organization to take a step forward and start working towards next season. Regardless of how tough last year ended for the Flyers, there were a handful of bright moments that gave fans hope moving forward. After dealing with key injuries throughout the entire season, the club thought it would be in the clear heading into the offseason, but now that just is not the case anymore.

Once again, the team is already dealing with a significant injury before the season even gets rolling. 

The Flyers’ organization announced Friday afternoon that forward Joel Farabee underwent a successful disc replacement surgery in his cervical region, the same surgery Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel and Chicago Blackhawks forward Tyler Johnson underwent earlier this past season. Farabee is expected to miss three to four months, including all of training camp and the start of the 2022-23 regular season. This injury could prove to be troubling for the young forward, as the organization enters a new era of hockey under recently hired head coach John Tortorella.

Could Farabee’s Surgery Be Linked to Past Injuries?

Last season, Farabee missed a total of 19 games with two different injuries to his left shoulder area. He ended up finishing the year with 34 points (17 goals and 17 assists) in 63 games played. By the end of the year, things just seemed off as he finished the last 12 games with a single goal and a minus-13 rating. While it has not been determined if the recent surgery is linked to the past shoulder issues, it would certainly make sense if there was some discomfort after dealing with such a significant injury. 

“Shoulder feels good,” Farabee said at the end-of-the-season press conference. “I think coming back the first time, it definitely wasn’t in great shape. Definitely tried to play through it a bit, but I think coming back from the second time, I felt a lot stronger. Ever since then, it’s been good.

“Obviously it gets a little sore with the schedule, playing back-to-backs and stuff like that, it can get a little sore. But at the end of the day, the strength was there and I felt pretty good the last few weeks of the season there.”

Joel Farabee Philadelphia Flyers
Joel Farabee, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Clearly, there were bigger problems for the young forward than he initially realized once the offseason rolled around. Fortunately for the Flyers, the surgery was successful, and he is able to start rehabbing right away. Missing three to four months for any athlete is difficult, but with the right tools, he will come back even better than before.

What Does This Injury Mean for the Farabee?

Injuries are the last thing the Flyers want to deal with this offseason after losing forward Kevin Hayes and defenseman Ryan Ellis for significant periods of last season. Losing Farabee for all of training camp and the start of the season is going to be difficult enough already having to start the year down a man. While it is certainly difficult losing one of the young talents on the team, the organization will have to find a way to fill the void until he is able to return.

Obviously, the Flyers would like to have a fully healthy roster heading into next season, but it might be better if his surgery happened during the offseason rather than in the middle of a season. With there still being over a month and a half before players start returning to Philadephia for training camp, he is able to do what he needs to do to get back with very little pressure to come back sooner than needed. The hope is that he will not miss more than the first month of the season and still have plenty of seasons left to play hockey.

Related: Flyers News & Rumors: Tortorella Fitting In, DeBrincat, Vacant Captaincy

Farabee is going to be an important part of the new-look Flyers once he returns next season. The young forward is entering his fourth year with the team after being drafted 14th overall in the 2018 NHL entry draft. There is no telling if this surgery will affect his games once he returns, but the Flyers are hopeful he will be able to return back to his former self once he is good to go.

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