Ryan Ellis had recently started taking the ice in his recovery from a lower-body injury.
Clearly, though, the progress of his rehab has not gone the way he or the Flyers had hoped.
Following practice Monday in Anaheim, California, interim head coach Mike Yeo did not have a timeline for Ellis' return. The top-pair defenseman had been considered week to week. On Nov. 18, Ellis' status was deemed four to six weeks, which made for a potential return right around Jan. 1.
"I know Ryan's frustrated," Yeo said. "He's a player that we really miss. He is a very, very strong player on both sides of the puck. When you don't have a guy like that in your lineup, you feel it defensively and you also see it in the execution part of our game. The game that we want to play, we want to play a fast game, we want to get on the attack, we want to get to the offensive zone. He's a guy that helps you do those things.
"It's tough not having him and I know it's been a real frustrating time for him. It's just not making a lot of progress right now, so hopefully something changes there very soon."
Ellis' issue appears to be to the hip/groin area. After missing nine games, Ellis suffered a reinjury in his return to the lineup Nov. 13. The Flyers' big offseason addition originally sustained the injury in the team's preseason finale Oct. 8. Ellis entered the NHL's COVID protocol Dec. 26 but recently exited protocol.
The 31-year-old is an all-situation, team-changing type of defenseman.
"One player shouldn't be enough to sink our team, but Ryan Ellis is an elite puck mover, he’s elite in transition, he would allow us to put everybody in the right chair," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said amid his club's 10-game losing streak.
After being acquired in an offseason trade, Ellis has played four games, logging 22:48 minutes per game, five points (one goal, four assists) and a plus-2 rating.
"Obviously that's a tough situation for Elly, coming into a new team and not really being able to get going," Scott Laughton said Monday. "I think once you start playing games, that's when you really get to know the guy and he gets to know us and everything like that.
"We've seen him around the rink and try to keep him in the loop. I've talked to him quite a bit since Christmas break, too. Just try and reach out whenever you can and kind of keep him in the loop. I know he's watching the games and eager to get back out there."
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