After a suffering a knee injury at the beginning of October, Flyers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto is set to return to the lineup on Saturday night, according to Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Del Zotto was placed on injured reserve on October 7th, and originally given a timetable of 4-5 weeks which was clearly accurate.
After a successful first season with the Flyers in 2014-15, Del Zotto fought his way through another injury plagued year in 2015-16, a situation far too familiar to the 26-year old. He’s played in 80+ games just once in his career, his rookie season with the New York Rangers, and has eclipsed 70 just one other time. If he’s to make the impact many Philadelphia fans hope, he’ll have to avoid injury for the rest of this season.
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Expected to skate alongside Flyers’ star sophomore Shayne Gostisbehere, Del Zotto will deepen a Philadelphia defense corps that has allowed a league-leading 43 goals through 12 contests. Remarkably, the team is at 6-5-1 on the year and still poised to take a run at the playoffs again this season.
The team will have some roster work to do however before activating the defenseman, as they currently sit more than $1MM over the cap and have to be compliant before bringing Del Zotto back into the fold. The team could perhaps move Andrew MacDonald to LTIR, as he’s out at least a week with a lower-body injury.