Flyers’ Pronger “hopes” to be ready for opener

On July 27, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger underwent minor surgery to clean out his damaged right knee.  Following the successful procedure, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren stated that the 35-year old would be  “ready for the start of camp.”

Holmgren may have been a bit optimistic.

“No. I can tell you that much,” Pronger said, when asked by PR staff if he would be 100-percent for the start of training camp in Sept. “With the amount of atrophy, it is going to take a lot of hard work to build the leg muscles back up.

“Obviously, I will spending a lot of hours in the gym trying to strengthen my knee and the rest of my body.”

In fact, being ready for training camp is the least of Pronger’s worries, as it is still up in the air whether he will even make the lineup for the team’s season opener on Oct. 7 in Pittsburgh.

“I hope to be in the lineup,” Pronger said of the opener. “But it is still very early on in the process to begin guessing on a time frame.

“I spoke to the doctor and trainer and it is really just about when my knee feels good and strong again. I don’t want to come back early and play a couple of games and then be out of the lineup and then play a few more and be out. I want to come back when the knee is as close to 100 percent as possible so I can play every single game from then on.”

Pronger said to have injured his knee in the Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 1 in overtime against the Boston Bruins.

“It was a 3-minute shift to start the overtime,” Pronger said. “About a minute in, I was in front of the net when there was a scrum. I was on my knees and I got bent backward. I heard a big crunch. It didn’t feel very good for the next 5-7 minutes. Eventually the feeling came back and I was able to get a little bit of strength back.”

Pronger, the Flyers’ leader in time on ice, averaged 25:55 per game in the regular season and 29:03 in the playoffs.  He played all 82 games and scored 10 goals and 45 assists during that span.

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