Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mason says he's cleared to play

That apparent crippling injury Steve Mason suffered that caused thousands to panic and throw their weight behind a tank for Connor McDavid? Not so bad after all.

Following a Sunday practice session in the Phoenix area, Mason reported that he's been cleared to return to action.

"Practice was fine. I felt good going back to the hotel after my morning skate. The biggest test I thought was going to be the flight here, being on the plane for 3 1/2, four hours whatever it was," he said. "I thought I was going to tighten up a little bit but I felt great this morning so it's all good news."

Mason had to be carried off the ice by team personnel when his back seized up suddenly back on Dec. 19, one day before the Orange and Black departed for the first legs (Toronto/Winnipeg/Minnesota) of their current eight-game trip which finds them in Glendale tomorrow night.

The 26-year-old hasn't played since Dec. 18 and suffered a shootout loss to the Panthers in the Flyers' final home game until Jan. 6. He has struggled behind a patchwork defense for much of the season, going just 6-10-5 despite a 2.49 goals-against average and career-best .921 save percentage. 

"I'm not going to change anything other than making sure I stay as loose as possible, and flexible. I'm going to do a lot of stretching on the ice. I may have to do a little bit more in the warmups just to make sure that we do as much as possible to prevent it from happening again,"Mason stated when pressed on his routine going forward.

"I'm not a doctor, but I'm sure it potentially could, just like any other injury. I had a good practice, I was reading the pucks well so that's good enough for me."

There is no official word on if Mason will start Monday, and if not, when he would. There has been no official move yet to return Rob Zepp to Lehigh Valley. Zepp has remained with the club since they departed for Canada last week, picking up his first NHL victory at Winnipeg one week ago tonight.

Also on Sunday, the club revealed that Ryan White will be sent to Lehigh Valley on a conditioning stint. White has yet to play this season due to a left pectoral tear and subsequent surgery suffered during off-ice training in late August. White doesn't have much time left on a one-year, two-way contract signed in the Summer that he should stick around for at least another year.

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