After undergoing further evaluation, Ryan Ellis is expected to miss four to six weeks as he deals with a lingering lower-body injury.
On Thursday morning, head coach Alain Vigneault said, from his understanding, the plan for Ellis' recovery is rehab.
The top-pair defenseman needing at least a month is not surprising. Given the problematic nature of the injury and considering it kept him out for three weeks before his one-game return, a month-plus absence was likely.
Ellis' issue appears to be to the hip/groin area. He suffered a reinjury last Saturday night in the Flyers' 5-2 loss to the Stars. Prior to the game, Ellis had missed the previous nine contests.
The Flyers (8-4-2) have 15 games over the next span of a month. If Ellis misses the full month and a half, he would miss five more additional games (20 in total), with Jan. 1 looking like a potential target date for his return.
Ellis, who was the Flyers' big trade addition in the offseason, has missed 10 of the Flyers' 14 games entering the team's matchup Thursday with the Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
In four games, the all-situation blueliner has logged 22:48 minutes per game, five points (one goal, four assists) and a plus-2 rating.
"When you lose that caliber of a player, it's a big loss," Rasmus Ristolainen said Wednesday.
Ristolainen, also an offseason trade acquisition, has played well over his last five games and will need to continue to pick up important minutes. In Ellis' stead, Justin Braun will remain on the top defensive pair alongside Ivan Provorov and seventh defenseman Nick Seeler will get more run in the lineup.
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