Chris Pronger missed most of the playoffs and it was obvious he was dealing with something above and beyond the injury he’s been battling since taking a puck to the wrist back at the end of February.
And yeah, it’s not good. On a conference call today with local media, Pronger disclosed that he will be seeing a specialist about a likely herniated disc in his back. It’s not a surprise he ended the call with this quote, per PhillySportsDaily.com:
“The year from hell is over.”
He will go in for testing on Tuesday. So while he’s still dealing with recovering from the wrist injury, Pronger will possibly need back surgery.
“It started to bother me a little bit in Game 7 [against Buffalo],” Pronger said. “But I didn’t know what it was.”
Pronger indicated he didn’t know when the disc injury occurred, though with only playing in Games 6 and 7 against Buffalo and then only in Game 1 against Boston, the window is small.
Asked whether he could have played at some point in the postseason if the Flyers advanced, Pronger didn’t have an answer.
“I don’t know. Who knows?,” Pronger asked. “With the medical marvels out there, who knows? But, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know the answer to that. Until you’re put in that position you don’t really know.”
So depending on what the specialist says, surgery is a definite possibility.
“I had my knee, my hand and my foot,” Pronger said. “I don’t know if it’s to that point or not. I’ve got to see what the doctors see, what their recommendations are, and then weigh the pros and cons to whatever it is that we decide to do, and go from there.”
Whether Pronger has his back operated on or not, he will still be dealing with the lingering wrist injury.
“It was to the point where I could play, but I still don’t have a lot of grip strength, still don’t have a full range of motion, and all the rest of that,” he said. “It’s still where it was. I just need to continue, once I figure out the next step for my other injury, I’ve got to continue to work on it and stay on top of it, and rehab that so come summertime when I can begin my training program for the next season that there’s no issues.”
Pronger is a tough guy and the quintessential hockey player, but at 36 years old (37 right as the 2011-12 regular season begins), his ability to recover from the various aches, pains, and assorted injuries suffered in the line of duty is diminishing as each day passes. The Flyers better hope Pronger is healthy and ready to go next season or there may not even be a playoff series to get swept out of.
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