Brent is Back 3/11

Friday, March 11, 2016
Tim Brent will return to the Phantoms' lineup Saturday in Hartford. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
After trying to play through an upper body ailment for five weeks, forward Tim Brent opted for a second look and ultimately decided surgery was the best pursuit of action back in late January.

Now, after missing the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' last 19 games, Brent is ready to return to the lineup and looks to play in Saturday afternoon's game at the XL Center in downtown Hartford, Connecticut against the Wolf Pack.

"I've said it many times before, but I'm not a very good spectator," Brent said after the team's practice Friday. "I'm happy to be back out there and hopefully help the team to a big win Saturday."

Opting for surgery and missing seven weeks wasn't an easy decision for Brent to make, but he said it was for the best.

"You want to be a part of the important games and want to be able to help," Brent said, adding, "Unfortunately with my injury, I couldn't do that. I tried to play through it for probably five weeks and just wasn't as effective as I should have been. Tough to go down like that where we're making a playoff push. I have to control being ready for when I come back."

The Phantoms certainly have their work cut out for themselves with 15 games left on their regular season schedule, beginning Saturday afternoon against Hartford. The Phantoms enter the weekend eight points out of the final playoff spot while also having two more games played than the team who holds the final spot, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

"We certainly realize [the situation]," Brent said. "We have to string quite a few games together in order to put us in a position to make playoffs, but we're prepared to do that."


In addition to forward Tim Brent being ready to return to the Phantoms' lineup, defenseman Mark Alt is also good to go after missing the team's last two games with an undisclosed injury.

Reading, Pa native Steven Swavely practiced with the Phantoms for the second time Friday and is very grateful for the opportunity to have this experience. The former Maine University forward and team captain recently finished his senior season with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) and plays a defense-first two-way game that might allow him to slide into the Phantoms' bottom six down the stretch.

Jason LaBarbera is practicing in full and looks ready to get back in net, perhaps Saturday in Hartford.

If you missed it yesterday, the Phantoms reassigned forwards Kevin Sundher and Kevin Goumas to the Reading Royals (ECHL). Sundher hasn't played since November 27th and appears to be ready to return to game action. Goumas, meanwhile, was the Phantoms' third line center but with the return of Tim Brent and the additions of Swavely and Dalton Smith he was no longer needed on the AHL roster.


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