Michael DeNicola

 

Today Philadelphia Flyers beat writer, Tim Panaccio reported he had a conference call with Chris Pronger over his recovery this off-season and asked for a status update. 

Not one to shy from the media, Pronger openly expressed that it is still his hand that's the main focus of concern and not his surgically corrected back -- 

Pronger is still rehabbing from back surgery, but the healing in his right hand is the real issue.
 
That is what is holding him back from resumption of his full workout schedule – the healing process on his right hand, which was fractured and required surgery last spring.

 

Philly Reign's own, Sir Joseph Bogle has been on Twitter-watch throughout the day and posted that Pronger's hand feels around 85%, per Gormely & Panaccio. 

"I had the plate removed, and waiting for the screw holes to fill in."

Delightful. 

Pronger reiterated he was going to take his time rehabbing, to assure he’s not troubled with similar problems this coming season.  Once he begins skating, he wants to go, “100 percent and not look back.”

 

Panaccio also addressed that Chris expects to be ready to play all 82 regular season games but not participate in the start of training camp. If this makes you worry that Pronger may return TOO early, don't trouble your concerned mind --

"I’m not going to speed up the process one bit. It’s going to go as it goes."

 

Though our star defenseman is 2-months behind on strength training, he has been cleared to ride the stationary bike. He does not know when he'll return to the ice for conditioning --

"I don't know. Until I get into the gym and start lifting weights, I can’t tell you."

 

I've already predicted that Pronger will miss a chunk of the first half of the schedule due to his back, but if that's progressing nicely enough that he expects to play all 82 regular season games, then I'll be more than happy to eat my words.

My predictions have been wrong time and time before, but I only assumed (because of Pronger's age and the level of seriousness to his herniated disc problem) that his return would be pushed back and his role on the blue line filled (at least) throughout the first 12 - 15 tilts of the 2011-12 league year. 

Whether his back and hand respond well or not, most tension looms over if his strength will wholly return. There's no arguing that his power is one of his more effective attributes, and exactly what this team needs to be successful.  

“I don’t really know what happened with my back or whether it was a ticking time bomb. No one really knows how they hurt their back. I’d like to think I’m past all of this. But we’ll see how I react once I start lifting weights … and pushing myself a little harder.”