TORONTO – Steve Mason cracked a smile, almost self-deprecating having gone through a post-practice skate usually reserved for healthy scratches.

The goalie won’t be starting Thursday when the Flyers face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he’s working on the “healthy” part.

“A lot of work. Still not a full practice,” said Mason, who is recovering from arthroscopic right knee surgery two weeks ago. “We were only out there for 20 minutes, but you push yourself as hard as you can to try and get back to feeling good, and we’ll see how it goes the next couple days.”

He must be improving, at least a little bit, considering the Flyers sent 2012 second-round pick Anthony Stolarz back to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms after backing up Rob Zepp Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C. Mason skated another half hour with a handful of other players after the formal practice had ended.

Zepp, the 33-year-old rookie from about a 45-minute drive north of Toronto, looks like he’ll get his fourth consecutive start for the Flyers. In nine appearances, Zepp has a 5-2-0 record with a 2.80 goals-against average and .893 save percentage.