Chris Pronger injury: Flyers defenseman says he's lost his 'sixth sense'

Jim McIsaac

In his first big sitdown interview since his career effectively ended, Chris Pronger says he's lost the "sixth sense" that made him a Hall of Fame-caliber defenseman.

We've known for some time that Chris Pronger has had a pretty rough go at life since the stick-to-the-face and the subsequent concussion he suffered back during the early part of the 2011-12 season.

His wife has talked about Chris' search for "good days" in a sea of bad ones; how hockey is no longer a priority and how just living a normal life is the key focus.

Pronger has made a few appearances here and there -- just last week he was in St. Louis for a ceremony before a Blues game, and he attended Flyers training camp this year to share some knowledge with players who are still technically his teammates -- but he's yet to give a deep interview about his struggles.

Until now. Talking with Canada's Sportsnet in a two-part sitdown interview that will air both tonight and Thursday, Pronger made it pretty clear that a) he's almost certainly not coming back to hockey and b) that his injury was and still is very, very scary.

"What's happened was I had 30-year-old eyes. I got hit and the doctor told me I had 60-year-old eyes. I don't have very good peripheral vision. That so-called sixth sense? I used to really have a good one. Now, I couldn't feel anybody comin' around a corner. My kids scare me all the time. That used to be what I was known for: knowing where everybody was; having a feel for who was around me. Now I don't have that."

[...]

"It's gotten a little bit better. I can leave the house, go do the stuff," he said of the symptoms that followed a stick in the eye, Oct. 24, 2011, and a subsequent head trauma in a game about three weeks later. "If I do too much I may get a headache. Occasionally, if I start to feel a bit better I do a bit more, and I get nauseous."

We'll be sure to share the full interview when it's made available by Sportsnet, but I think we can be assured that the news coming out of Pronger's sit down will be anything but good. Our hope is still that Pronger can just live a normal life -- one where his injury doesn't follow him around forever.

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