Report: Flyers Sean Couturier suffers setback, could miss season

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Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier suffered a herniated disc in his back last week and could miss some or all of the 2022-23 season, Crossing Broad reported Monday.

Couturier, who previously had surgery on his back in February, injured the disc during strength and conditioning training last week, per the report.

Sportsnet added that Couturier and the Flyers will seek a second opinion and try to determine whether the injury is the same one that sidelined him for much of last year and necessitated the surgery.

This is a big blow for Couturier and the Flyers, who were banking on putting together a return to the playoffs with John Tortorella at the helm.

Sean Couturier could miss season

sean couturier
Dec 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) carries the puck against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Flyers, Couturier came into last season healthy but his back issue started to present itself in the fall.

“This wasn’t an issue that was bothering him coming into the year,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “He started having issues in the fall and tried to battle through. We tried to treat things non-surgically, couple epidurals to be exact, to try to resolve the issue that was there. You try to do your best to avoid back surgery if you can, but ultimately the doctor and Sean felt confident that the best way to resolve this going forward was to have this surgical intervention.”

Couturier, 29, has spent his entire NHL career with the Flyers after they made him the eighth overall selection in the 2011 draft. He has tallied 460 points (180 goals, 280 assists) over 721 career games but has not played at least 80 games in a season since 2018-19.

In 29 appearances last year, Couturier had six goals and 11 assists.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed veteran center Sean Couturier to an eight-year, $62 million extension back in August.

The contract carries an average annual value of $7.75 million. It goes into effect with the 2022-23 season and runs through the 2029-30 campaign.

Couturier won the Selke Trophy in 2020 for “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” He has received Selke votes in nine of his 11 NHL seasons.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article