VOORHEES, N.J. — The return of Samuel Morin took another step Thursday morning.
The Flyers loaned Morin to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for conditioning purposes in an effort to get the defenseman some game action at the AHL level before he’s likely recalled early next week.
Morin has been overcoming an ACL injury he suffered on May 9, 2018, during the Phantoms' epic five-overtime thriller when his skate caught a rut in the ice. Morin had surgery later that month when surgeons had to take a tendon from another part of Morin’s leg to repair the torn ligament.
“You’re going to have a little bit of pain for about a year, that’s what they said and it’s normal, but it’s not a big deal,” Morin said. “I’ve gone through way worse before.”
Perhaps more painful injuries, but not quite the grueling rehab process.
Morin has not only been strengthening his leg through off-ice activities since last summer, but he’s been skating on the ice as far back as training camp. It wasn’t until January that the 6-foot-7 defenseman began to ramp his level of play on the ice.
The biggest challenge is the twisting and turning involved in Morin’s positional play, especially against some of the league’s more talented forwards.
“It’s so weird. I like my stick right now. I’ve got a good stick on the puck, but guys like Jake [Voracek], they go and turn on me and it’s like trusting your knee to put all the weight on it,” Morin said. “Obviously, it’s a big challenge mentally.”
Morin will join goaltender Brian Elliott with the Phantoms this weekend as they play three games in three nights. Friday could be Morin’s first game action in nine months.
“They’ve told me it’s going to be a year before I’m feeling where I was before,” Morin said. “It’s just trusting my knee. Obviously, it's in my head a lot. It’s going to be hard. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy.”
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