ANAHEIM - Matt Read said he's been itching to get back into the Flyers' lineup from the moment he went out with an oblique pull, suffered in Nashville in early December.
Eleven games later, the 30-year-old winger re-entered the lineup New Year's Day against the Ducks.
"I practiced six or seven days and felt pretty good," said Read, who replaced Nick Cousins in the 4-3 shootout loss (see story). "I limited as much as I could to make sure my body was ready to come back. I've been doing a lot of skating and working out to get back in the lineup again.
"During that 10-game winning streak, I wanted to be part of helping out the guys. But the last five or six games have been tough. I wanted to help my teammates get back to winning."
Read came off LTIR on Saturday. To accommodate the roster move, Taylor Leier was sent back to the Phantoms.
Read has had a lot of time sitting in the press box watching the Flyers slog their way through a 1-4-2 skid. He had two shots in his comeback game.
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"Our compete level was there but it comes down to execution," he said. "Supporting the puck better. I think the last couple games, we've been playing well. In San Jose, we played a really good game and gave a PP goal up.
"We had a couple opportunities, but didn't score. We're making the right strides forward and we've been close the last couple games."
Read said the only thing that kept him from returning sooner on the trip was back spasms.
"My biggest thing was having back spasms which might have been from overcompensating for what was happening," Read said. "Go through a couple of hard practices to make sure it didn't happen again. I had them for a while now."