Carter Hart Getting Closer to Returning for Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. - Carter Hart still wears his Stadium Series gear specially tailored for that outdoor game.

Those black pads with orange lining will only see morning skates and practices, and right now, that's exactly where Hart is in his recovery from a sore ankle that will force him to miss his sixth straight game against the Capitals. 

However, Hart joined his teammates for the first time during Wedneday's morning skate and he'll likely ramp up his activity level for Thursday's practice.

"I felt pretty good," Hart said. "Obviously, we're being careful."

Hart injured the ankle leaning up against the post during the Flyers' morning skate prior to his start in Montreal on Feb. 21. He was pulled midway through the first period after allowing three goals on nine shots, including one in which he was leaning up against the post. However, Hart maintains the injury had nothing to do with the goal itself. 

"It progressively got worse," Hart said. "You play the game, you don't really think about your injury. As a goaltender, you're in that position quite a bit when there's any plays behind the goal line or on the wall. I started feeling it a lot more the next day. We're taking the right steps."

It's the third minor injury Hart can remember. He has also strained a hamstring and pulled his groin. Both required just a couple of weeks of recovery time prior to his turning pro.

The Flyers' rookie sensation wants to return to game action before next Thursday's rematch with the Capitals. However, interim head coach Scott Gordon may have other ideas, especially considering how well Brian Elliott has played in his six appearances from reaggravating a core muscle injury. The Flyers have earned points in all four of Elliott's starts with a 3-0-1 record.

Looking ahead, the ideal game to work Hart back in would be next Monday against the lowly Ottawa Senators, a team that has won just four of its previous 19 games.

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