Saturday, November 08, 2014

Gostisbehere suffers torn ACL, likely lost for season

The defensive situation in the Flyers organization has gotten a little cloudier, with the revelation that Shayne Gostisbehere will be out of action in the long term with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The injury apparently occurred during Friday's 3-2 Phantoms win at Manchester, where Gostisbehere absorbed a hit but fell in an awkward manner and was carried off the ice unable to put pressure on his left leg.

"He's going to miss some critical development," Flyers GM Ron Hextall said to an assembled throng in the press box prior to the opening puck-drop. "I don't want to guess at a timetable. It's not going to be weeks. It's going to be months, but you need a different timetable for everybody. But he should play (again) this year. We'll make a positive out of a tough situation."

Despite Hextall's rosy outlook, any injury to an ACL which must be fixed by surgery is looking at an average of five months total recovery and rehabilitation. With surgery coming up on Thursday, unless the Phantoms advance deep into the AHL playoffs, the 21-year-old Florida native isn't coming back to play this year. This latest setback, paired with the broken jaw Samuel Morin suffered weeks ago in the QMJHL, will force Hextall to modify his development plan regarding his top two defensive prospects.

Gostisbehere recorded five assists in five games at Lehigh Valley, but failed to record a point in two appearances with the Flyers.

"Shayne's going to have to take this positive and work hard to get himself back to where he was. There are things he can do now ... he can study (other) defensemen, he can watch the game, he can spend time with Kjell Samuelsson," Hextall added. "I don't know whether we'll have him up here to watch games or down there (Allentown), maybe a little bit of both so it's not going to be a lost cause."

Added pressure will be brought to bear on the readiness of Oliver Lauridsen, Brandon Manning, Mark Alt, Robert Hagg and Steven Delisle to carry the load for Terry Murray's club for the remainder of the season. Ghost's setback also forces Murray and Hextall to work a little harder on whom to recall with Andy MacDonald still on the shelf and for any future Philly injuries on the blueline.

Below is video of the incident:

It appears that Gostisbehere's ability to accelerate got him into trouble. As Michael Mersch appears to have him rubbed out along the end boards on the backcheck, the Phantoms defenseman escapes for a fraction of a second when contact occured. Had he remained stationery, Gostisbehere would have absorbed a bodycheck instead.
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