Parent to have surgery

Flyers defenseman Ryan Parent will undergo back surgery. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In a move that was completely unsurprising, the Flyers announced on Saturday that defenseman Ryan Parent will undergo back surgery on Monday.

The Daily News first reported on Jan. 4 that Parent has a herniated disc in his lower back that could possibly need surgery.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren refuted the claim the following day.

"Ryan Parent will have surgery on Monday, January 25th to remove a disc fragment from his lumbar spine," Holmgren said Saturday in a statement.

Holmgren acknowledged last week that Parent, 22, had suffered "setbacks" in his effort to try and play through the injury. Parent has missed the last 14 games and has not skated with the team since Dec. 26.

The fact that Parent's disc was past the point of "bulging," as it was when the Flyers first acquired him from Nashville in Feb. 2007, left the Flyers little options. It was a debilitating injury. According to a medical source, this surgery will remove a piece of bone fragment that was lodged in his spine.

Parent missed 23 games in 2006-07, his final year of juniors with the Guelph Storm, because of the bulging disc.

"After running the gamut with Ryan in terms of different things we have tried to relieve the discomfort he was having, we felt this was the way to go for Ryan’s overall health. The surgery is minimally invasive and will keep Ryan out for approximately six weeks," Holmgren said Saturday.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. Scott Rushton at Lankenau Hospital on Monday. Because it is minimally invasive, Parent has a chance to return to the lineup this season - sometime around March 8.

"Unlike conventional surgery which requires a lengthy incision and would most likely preclude Parent from returning to the ice this season, minimally-invasive spinal surgery (MISS) is performed through an opening roughly the size of a nickel using a device similar to an arthroscope," a medical source told the Daily News.