At least 5 Flyers need surgery; Holmgren defends Richards

    Five Flyers will have off-season surgery, general manager Paul Holmgren announced Tuesday _ and that doesn’t include defenseman Chris Pronger, whose back condition is still being evaluated by doctors and isn’t expected to be known until later in the day.

     The five: Mike Richards (wrist), Andrej Meszaros (wrist), Kris Versteeg (sports hernia); Michael Leighton (hip) and Blair Betts (finger).

   Scott Hartnell and Jeff Carter are also being evaluated for possible hip surgery, Holmgren said, adding he hopes to know their medical status on Friday.

    It will probably be known later Tuesday if Pronger will need surgery, Holmgren said.

    The GM said Richards dealt with an injured wrist since training camp and that it “inhibited his play in certain aspects - it affected his performance in the faceoff circle and I think it affected his shot.”

   Richards, who had one goal in the post-season, has a torn ligament in a wrist. Holmgren did not know which wrist was injured.

    Richards sometime seemed emotionally detached this season. He did not make himself available to the media on Monday or Tuesday. He said he will talk on Wednesday.

    Holmgren said Richards was a good captain.

    “He’s a quiet kid, a reserved kid,” Holmgren said. “He’s a hard gut to talk to sometimes - for anyone, probably even his closest friends. He’s just a quiet guy, but there are no issues with Mike and Peter (Laviolette), or Mike and his teammates.”

     A video of Holmgren addressing the Richards situation is embedded below.

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