Pronger, Versteeg surgeries called successful

“A full recovery is anticipated,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said of Chris Pronger's injured back. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

   Defenseman Chris Pronger (back) and winger Kris Versteeg (sports hernia) had surgical procedures Thursday that were deemed "successful" by Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.

     A disc fragment that was pressing against a nerve was removed from Pronger’s back. He will begin a walking rehab in a few days, Holmgren said.

    In six weeks, Pronger, 36, who has six years remaining on his contract, will start a core-strengthening program, the GM added.

    “A full recovery is anticipated,” Holmgren said.


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     The procedure was similar to the one goalie Michael Leighton underwent last year. He had some discomfort during the season, but played well in the AHL.

      It is the fourth surgery performed on Pronger in 9½ months. He also had surgery on his foot, hand and knee.

    Before the surgery, Pronger said he was glad "the year from hell" was coming to a close.

    "Hopefully a good summer of training and rehab on the various issues that I’ve had this year will rectify all those (problems)," he said earlier in the week, "and I can come into camp next year in a lot better shape, a lot healthier, and able to hopefully play 82 games next year.”

     This season, Pronger played in just 50 games _ third-fewest in his 17-year career _ and three playoff contests.

    Holmgren said Versteeg had surgery to repair two tears in his abdominal wall, and that he will begin rehabbing in 10 days.

     The Flyers have had six players undergo operations in the last two days. On Wednesday, Leighton (hip), Mike Richards (wrist), Blair Betts (finger) and Andrej Meszaros (wrist) underwent procedures.

    Holmgren expects to learn Friday if Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell need hip surgery.

    With all these ailing bodies, it now seems pretty amazing that the Flyers finished 47-23-12 this season before a poor playoff showing.

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