PHILADELPHIA - MAY 16: Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers breaks his stick on a shot against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wachovia Center on May 16, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Chris Pronger had a virus. Just a bad virus that was keeping him down, and he didn't want to spread it around the locker room. He'd be back in no time, almost certainly by the time the Flyers play again in Anaheim on Friday.
Nope. Paul Holmgren speaking today:
"Chris will have surgery on his left knee tomorrow afternoon. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Peter DeLuca. The procedure will clean out some loose particles that have given Chris some problems over the last month or so.
"We were hopeful that the time missed with a virus that Chris has been fighting would settle things down in his knee but after an examination yesterday, it was decided that the surgery is the way to go at this time. We expect Chris will be back playing in 4 weeks."
It's certainly possible the virus thing here was just a lie. At the very least, he actually did have a virus and couldn't get surgery during that time as a result, but you know, they could have probably mentioned that something was going on with the knee too. There's no reason to trust the Flyers when it comes to injuries if they're going to hide stuff like that, even if they hoped that he wouldn't need surgery and things would settle down.
Pronger will have surgery, he'll be out for four weeks, and at this rate, he'll probably play eight games and then go down with another injury. It's unbelievable. But you know what? In the long run this season, maybe it's not that bad.
The Flyers are not nearly as good without Pronger in the lineup, and the prospect of having Marc-Andre Bourdon and Kevin Marshall in the top-6 for the next two months isn't totally great, but I guess there's always the prospect of a trade going down soon to take care of that.
In the meantime, the Flyers are most likely not going to have trouble making the playoffs this season. I don't think one player makes a difference that big, as important as Pronger is to this team. Especially not if he still winds up playing about 40 to 50 games this year, which should be the case either way.
The big question is whether or not he'll be healthy for the playoffs, because that's where the Flyers really missed him a year ago. If he's healthy then, well... awesome. The hope is that by sitting some time out during the regular season, the chances of him being fresh come playoff time are higher.
Let's just pray for that, I guess. I'm not even religious. Hope you guys are. /gulp