Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe missed the big club's condensed training camp because of a fractured rib.
Turns out he was dealing with more than a fractured rib, which can't be pleasant to deal with in itself.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher explained on Tuesday that Ratcliffe's rib issue led to a collapsed lung and a couple of surgeries. The 6-foot-6 winger has been skating recently at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, and will eventually go to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley to play with the Phantoms, who begin their 38-game season on Saturday.
"He’s doing much better, he’s back skating," Fletcher said. "I think he’s still a few weeks away from being able to return to practice and probably a few weeks away from being able to return to play after that. ... He’s had a tough go; he’s in a much better spot now."
Ratcliffe, who turns 22 years old this month, was a 2017 second-round pick of the Flyers and scored 50 goals over his final junior hockey season with the OHL's Guelph Storm in 2018-19. Ratcliffe had six goals and nine assists in 53 regular-season games with the Phantoms last season, his first year of professional hockey.
Wade Allison, another prospect along the wing, underwent ankle surgery last week in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and will be out four to six weeks. Allison, a 23-year-old turning pro after a four-year college career at Western Michigan, opened camp with the Flyers but had been nagged by the injury. His camp was cut short Jan. 8.
Allison was a candidate to crack the Flyers' roster at some point in 2020-21. That will be much more difficult now with Allison having to make his way back and aiming for development time in Lehigh Valley.
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