FLYERS D CHRIS PRONGER OUT 3-4 WEEKS, TO UNDERGO SURGERY

Published on March 14th, 2011

Chris Pronger

The Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger will undergo surgery on Tuesday, March 15 to repair a fracture in his right hand, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
 
“Chris had a CT scan on his right hand on Sunday and a small fracture was discovered,” Holmgren said.  “Our doctors believe surgery is the best route to take with the injury. Surgery will be done Tuesday morning in Cleveland by Dr. Tom Graham. Chris will be able to return to play in 3-4 weeks.”

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren – March 14 conference call
 
Q: Prior to this, Chris had an MRI and a couple different x-rays.  Why did this not show up on an MRI?
 
“A CT scan is the most thorough.  Obviously with continued concern about what was going on in there, we went ahead more for everybody’s peace of mind, and this was discovered yesterday.  The way we’re going to deal with it, the doctors along with Chris and Jimmy McCrossin sat down and talked, and we feel going in and just putting a little screw in this little piece of bone is the best way to move forward in terms of the healing process and get him back playing as soon as possible.”
 
Q: Is there a chance he could miss the beginning of the playoffs?
 
“I don’t think so.  Right now we think three to four weeks, we feel we’re in the right frame of mind there.  I’ll probably know a little bit more tomorrow on how things go, but based on the information we’re getting from the doctors and what they see and what they think is going to take place during the surgery, that timeframe is accurate. 
 
Q: Does that three to four weeks include rehab?
 
“Obviously, he’ll be able to start skating again fairly soon.  It’s his hand.  He’ll be able to skate probably next weekend.  We’re looking right more around [April 3] and the start of the playoff period.  Hopefully he can get some games in prior to the playoffs, but again, I’ll probably know more tomorrow on that.” 
 
Q: Did he come back too soon?
 
“I don’t think so.  He played the game against Edmonton and he did jam it along the boards – whether that made it worse or maybe even caused this little break, we don’t know.  As I said to you guys the other night, nothing showed up on the x-rays, nothing really showed up on the MRI, but for peace of mind, we got this CT scan done yesterday and low and behold, there’s this little piece of bone that’s broken away.  As I said, the best way to deal with it now according to the doctors – and they’re the ones that know this stuff – both hand specialists that we’re dealing with just want to go in and put a little screw in there and expedite the healing, and expedite everything else involved.   These things happen all the time.  Nothing was missed here.  This is just the way it evolved.  Now we’re tackling the problem at hand.”
 
Q: Have you decided what you want to do with the roster spot?
 
“Yeah, we’re going to call up Eric Gustafsson tomorrow.  I’m not sure he’ll be available for the game tomorrow, but just the fact that we’re on the road, if we run into a problem, it’s a lot easier to have a defenseman with us than trying to get somebody into Atlanta or Dallas last-minute.  So we’re bringing a guy up, Eric Gustafsson, just to kind of cover ourselves.” 
 
Q: Where exactly is the bone in Chris’s hand?
 
“I don’t really know.  I believe it’s close to his fingers than his wrist.”
 
Q: When he comes back, do you expect him to be 100 percent?
 
“I think he’ll be 100 percent.  Obviously the reason they want to put the screw in is to make it more stable.  Given the timeframe of recovery after the surgery, in three weeks, everybody thinks it’s going to be more stable than it ever was, and it takes away the risk of re-injuring it.” 
 
Q: Is Gustafsson here just to be the seventh guy or do you see him getting some time?
 
“I don’t know.  That’s the coach’s decision.  It’s just a lot easier to have a guy with you in case you get a jam on the road when you’re a couple thousand miles away.  This time of year roster size is not an issue, and we just decided to bring him up basically for this road trip.” 
 
Q: What was your impression of Gustafsson in his last game?
 
“I thought Eric played a good game.  Thought he played real good.”

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