Pronger to start skating Fri.

Chris Pronger will skate Friday for the first time this offseason. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

  Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger has started lifting weights and, on Friday, will take another step toward his recovery when he skates for the first time this summer.

   Pronger, a future Hall of Famer who will turn 37 next month, is coming off what he called “the year from hell” _ four surgeries in 9½ months.

   He said on Thursday he was making progress, but that he wouldn’t be ready for the start of training camp on Sept. 16. He said he did not know if he would be ready for the Oct. 6 opener in Boston.

   In May, a disk fragment that was pressing against a nerve was removed from Pronger's back by orthopedic surgeon Frank Cammisa in New York.

   In his previous 9½ months, Pronger also had surgery on his foot, hand, and knee.

  On Thursday, Pronger talked about the loss of his former teammate and roommate, Brad McCrimmon, who died in a plane crash in Russia on Wednesday.

    When Pronger broke into the league with Hartford, he said, McCrimmon was a major influence  in shaping his career. The full story is in Friday's Inquirer.




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