4 players not at practice as Flyers prepare for Maple Leafs, then Stadium Series

4 players not at practice as Flyers prepare for Maple Leafs, then Stadium Series originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers were missing four players at practice a day before visiting the Maple Leafs and three days before heading outdoors for the 2024 Stadium Series.

Owen Tippett, Jamie Drysdale, Rasmus Ristolainen and Tyson Foerster were not on the ice Wednesday at Flyers Training Center.

The good news for the club is that the absences of Tippett and Drysdale were considered maintenance days. Both players scored a goal in the Flyers' 5-3 win Monday over the Coyotes. A maintenance day after a day off always raises some eyebrows, but it appears the Flyers are just being cautious with Tippett and Drysdale.

Update: Tippett and Drysdale play in Flyers' 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto

But the Flyers may not be as fortunate with Ristolainen's upper-body injury. Despite taking part in morning skate, the defenseman missed Monday's game. The club originally viewed his injury as minor and was hoping to have him back by the weekend, but that could have changed. Ristolainen is still being evaluated and the Flyers do not have a timetable yet for his recovery.

The 29-year-old has shown improvement under head coach John Tortorella and assistant coach Brad Shaw. However, his minutes are down to 16:41 per game, the lowest of his career, and he missed the first 20 games of the season because of a lower-body injury.

"Played well," Tortorella said Wednesday. "Someone else fills in, that's the way it works. We have eight D, it gives other guys other opportunities for ice time and we just go about it. Injuries are a part of it."

Foerster also missed Monday's game because of a lower-body injury. The rookie winger took a shot to his right foot late in the Flyers' 3-2 win last Saturday over the Kraken.

The Flyers believe the injury is minor. They were originally hopeful Foerster would be back for Saturday's outdoor game against the Devils at MetLife Stadium, but he may need a few extra days. We'll know more come Friday.

"I miss him on the bench," Tortorella said. "I can't worry about when injuries come and go, it's out of our control, but I certainly miss him on the bench. Quite honestly, not the offensive part of the game. He's probably one of our stronger defensive players and probably the strongest with his stick as far as puck battles."

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