Michael DeNicola

 

Chris Pronger spoke on TSN's 1050 Morning Radio Show earlier today and mentioned how he may not be ready by training camp.

"I'm still probably three, three and a half weeks away from being able to train hard. I'm still walking on the treadmill, light bike riding. The back doctor wanted 12 weeks for me not doing a whole lot to allow that back area to scar up and then fully heal up before I start torquing and pushing on it hard," saidPronger, who needed to remove a herniated disc that caused him back and leg problems.

"I would say I'm quite a bit behind where I would be training-wise and working out-wise. Whether I'm at camp or not, I don't know that yet, it's still early to tell. I would guess I would not be starting camp just from the mere fact that I haven't been able to work out at all yet. I'm skinny to begin with, and now I'm looking really skinny." TSN

 

What confuses me are the people who expected anything else. 

Pronger underwent surgery after the season to remove a herniated disk in his back that create pain in his back and legs. 

In May I posted an article describing the surgery Chris needed to undergo. I later wrote about the rehabilitation he'd more than likely experience on the road to recovery. I expected this. 

There's no question this sucks. I couldn't have said it any better than BroadStreetHockey.com:

"Most of all, without Pronger, the Flyers are a seriously weakened team, and quite frankly, they need him to be successful."

 

You want a silver lining? Sure you do. This news is like watching the Maître D' piss all over your medium-rare filet in front of your eyes. 

Here it is; It's still well over three months away from the beginning of the season. Plenty of time to rehab and strengthen his surgically corrected area. Though don't allow the high hopes to cloud your rationale. 

Chris Pronger will NOT be on the ice come October 6th against the Boston Bruins. 

Hopefully our boys only have to play 10 games (15, max) without him. And the truth is....maybe it's better that way. You don't want to rush this monster of an athlete and leader back to the hard pounding game of hockey. Especially while he's walking a tightrope over another chance of re-aggravating the area. It's just not worth the risk. 

 

And let's say Pronger is rushed back prematurally and - God forbid - injures himself all over again. Only this time it's worse and he's got no choice but to retire from the game. The Flyers would STILL have to pay his $4,921,429 annual salary which would count against our cap until the year 2017

You like them apples? Yea, neither do I. 

This is just another circumstance for the rest of the defensive pool to step up. Look for key blue liners like Kimo Timonen and Braydon Coburn to turn up the heat and take a heavier load come 2011-12. 

Depending on how well Oskars Bartulis does in camp/pre-season, he could be lined up with newcomer Andreas Lilja. 

I'm expecting Andrej Meszaros to have another kickass season. Whether he's coupled with Matt Carle or not is, again, completely dependant on who pairs well with who during training camp.

Or perhaps GM Paul Holmgren's got one more move up his sleeve and it involves adding a defensive puzzle piece?

Time will tell.