Flyers’ Sean Couturier out for season after back surgery

couturier flyers season
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Sean Couturier‘s season is over with the Flyers after the center underwent back surgery on Friday.

The forward last played Dec. 18 and has been on injured reserve with an “upper-body injury.”

According to Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, Couturier, whose eight-year, $62 million extension kicks in next season, has been dealing with numerous injuries all season long

“This wasn’t an issue that was bothering him coming into this year. I think he started having issues in the fall and tried to battle through,” Fletcher said. “We tried to treat things nonsurgically, a couple of epidurals to be exact, tried to resolve the issue that was there. You try to do your best to avoid back surgery if you can, but ultimately the doctor and Sean felt confident that the best way to resolve this going forward would be to have this surgical intervention.”

The recovery period is around three months and the team expects him to be 100% by training camp. Couturier had six goals and 17 points in 29 games played this season.

Through 46 games the Flyers are 17 points out of an Eastern Conference Wild Card spot and may lose more players as Kevin Hayes and Ryan Ellis are dealing with their own injury issues. It’s all about the future now — hello, Claude Giroux! — in Philadelphia, so there will be a good deal of players vying for spots on the roster for next season.

“It has been an extremely difficult season, but it is a great opportunity for the players that are here to show what they can do,” Fletcher said.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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