Briere hopes to play for Flyers next week

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Danny Briere skated off the ice against Calgary fearing his groin injury might keep him out of the lineup a few weeks.

Briere left the Philadelphia Flyers practice facility Friday feeling confident he might not miss more than a game.

The Flyers center was examined by his surgeon and was told adhesions broke from his last groin surgery and there was some internal bleeding -- enough damage to keep him out of Saturday's game against Nashville, though he could play Tuesday against Buffalo.

"There's a big relief," Briere said.

Dr. William Meyers, who performed groin and abdominal surgeries on Briere this year, told the Flyers star the torn adhesions were common. Briere had a light workout before the Flyers practiced Friday and he hoped to skate on Saturday.

Briere already missed 51 games this season because of groin and abdominal injuries and the Flyers are 3-6-3 when he does play. Briere, who has five goals and nine points this year, was injured in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Flames and did not play the third period. Briere said when he left the game, he had no strength left in his groin.

He gutted out the first periods because he thought the discomfort would go away.

"It just kept getting worse and worse," Briere said. "There were a few shifts in the second period where I had a hard time taking off. I had a hard time fighting for the puck because I was just trying to protect it."

Briere thought he either tweaked his groin or pulled a muscle and braced himself to miss two to four weeks.

The Flyers (34-19-10) have played well without Briere and are fourth in the Eastern Conference. He had 31 goals and 72 points last year, the first of a $52 million, eight-year contract, and led the Flyers to the conference finals.

Coach John Stevens was concerned that Briere was still having issues with his groin even after missing all this time, but remained optimistic he could help with the playoff push.

"It's going to take him some time to get back to the level he's used to playing at just because he's been out so long," Stevens said. "We're under 20 games now, and I think it's important to get him back playing."