ALLENTOWN, Pa. — There’s a very good chance Travis Sanheim’s season isn’t over just yet.
Eleven days after sustaining an ugly knee injury in a collision with Checkers forward Valentin Zykov, Sanheim was skating with Lehigh Valley teammates Phil Varone and goaltender Anthony Stolarz Tuesday morning prior to the team’s practice at the PPL Center.
“I think with Phil and Travis, it’s not a question of if, but when,” Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon said. “I think they’re moving in the right direction and we’ll see how the week goes.”
Anthony Stolarz and Travis Sanheim watching practice as Phantoms prepare for their best-of-7 series against the Toronto Marlies pic.twitter.com/NU4LHs9Gk7— John Boruk (@johnborukNBCS) May 15, 2018
The Phantoms returned to Allentown, Pennsylvania, for the first time since May 5 after sweeping three games in Charlotte, advancing to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals against the Toronto Marlies, starting Saturday. While Sanheim isn’t expected to play in the first two games of the series, there’s a stronger possibility he could return to action when the series shifts back to Allentown for Games 3, 4 and 5.
Stolarz hasn’t played since making his Phantoms season debut on March 24, allowing six goals on 35 shots to the Providence Bruins. He reinjured his surgically repaired knee and has spent the better part of the past seven months in rehabilitation.
However, Stolarz is expected to join the team when it leaves for Toronto later in the week.
“I think he’s been officially cleared health-wise,” Gordon said. “I don’t want to say I’m 100 percent, but I’m 95 percent he’s officially been cleared. He’s going to make the trip to Toronto because of it.”
The news surrounding defenseman Samuel Morin doesn’t appear so optimistic. The Flyers' defensive prospect sustained an apparent knee injury last Wednesday in the first period of the five-overtime thriller against the Checkers.
Internally, there’s concern that Morin may not be 100 percent when training camp opens in September.