Chris Pronger, who has missed the last five games with an injured right eye, skated in Voorhees again on Friday and is getting closer to returning to action.
For the first time since he suffered the injury, Pronger, wearing a visor, took part in team drills on Friday. Only seven players were on the ice.
General manager Paul Holmgren said Pronger will not play Saturday against visiting Columbus. Holmgren didn't know if the star defeneseman would be able to play Wednesday in Tampa Bay, but he didn't rule it out.
"It depends on how he progresses" in the next several days, Holmgren said.
In another matter, Holmgren strongly denied a report that James van Riemsdyk could have played in Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to New Jersey, but was held out of the lineup by coach Peter Laviolette for other reasons.
"That's totally false," Holmgren said.
JVR suffered an apparent knee injury in Buffalo on Wednesday, but Holmgren said he was bothered by another ailment on Thursday. He tested it during pregame warmups Thursday and did not play. Holmgren said he was sidelined strictly because of the injury.
Van Riemsdyk had groin issues earlier this season.
Matt Read, another injured forward, and JVR are "50/50" to play Saturday against Columbus, Holmgren said.
In case they can't play, the Flyers recalled Eric Wellwood from the Phantoms.
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HBO announced it will have a "primer" to "24/7," the series on the Flyers and Rangers that will lead to the Winter Classic.
It will be a 12-minute show on Nov. 25 (9:15 p.m.), which will lead into "24/7 FLYERS/RANGERS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC.”
It will not be censored, and Pronger figures to be one of the marquee interviews.
The Flyers and Rangers will meet in the Winter Classic Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park.
The "preview" will air 12 times on the main service plus six times on HBO2. The preview also will be available 24 hours a day at HBO On Demand,
starting Nov. 27 as well as on HBO GO®.
HBO replay schedule: HBO2 replay schedule:
All times are ET/PT. All times are ET/PT.
Nov. 25 (9:15 p.m.) Nov. 25 (5:40 a.m.)
Nov. 26 (12:00 p.m.) Dec. 8 (1:15 p.m. and 8:45
Nov. 29 (12:30 p.m. and 4:05 a.m.) Dec. 11 (8:15 a.m.)
Dec. 2 (9:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.) Dec. 15 (6:15 a.m. and 9:45
Dec. 4 (9:00 a.m.)
Dec. 6 (8:15 p.m.)
Dec. 9 (2:30 p.m.)
Dec. 12 (5:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.)
Dec. 14 (7:00 p.m.)
HBO’s “24/7” premiered last December with the Penguins and Capitals.
“24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” debuts Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. on HBO with an immediate encore play at 11 p.m.
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter@BroadStBull.
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