VOORHEES, N.J. – Chris Pronger has an idea about how to let Flyers fans know when he’ll return from knee surgery.
“We can tweet it, right?” he said, smiling.
Pronger will likely bypass social networks to reveal the news of when he’ll start skating for the first time since late-July surgery to clean out some “loose bodies” in his right knee.
He’s in rehab mode these days, riding stationary bikes in an attempt to make it back at least by Philadelphia’s opener on Oct. 7 at Pittsburgh.
Pronger, one of the NHL’s top defenceman, won’t rush back. Pronger said he’s in “no hurry” to return and wants to make sure the leg has regained its strength and feels as strong as his left leg before hitting the ice.
“I just want to make sure it’s right so that when I do come back and get skating, it’s not an issue or a problem going forward,” he said.
Pronger said there is no timetable to start skating and did not say if he would be ready during training camp. The Flyers open camp Sept. 17.
“I’ve got to build the leg back up and get the range of motion and everything back to where it was before,” he said.
Pronger spoke Tuesday after visiting kids participating in the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation at the Flyers practice facility. He delivered pizzas, answered questions and told them of a “dead feeling” after the Flyers lost to Chicago in the Stanley Cup final.
Pronger, who turns 36 on Oct. 10, was injured in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston—and never missed a game.
“I was on my knees and I got bent backward,” he said. “I heard a crunch. Scrunch, munch, crunch and my leg didn’t feel very good. So yeah, something was probably wrong.”
Pronger didn’t practise the rest of the post-season, something that wasn’t noticeable in games where he was often Philadelphia’s best player on the ice. Pronger averaged nearly 26 minutes during the regular season, fifth best in the league and played a league-leading 29 minutes per game in the playoffs.
He hoped rest would work, but the knee flared up during a family vacation and he decided to go under the knife.
“I’ve got to do all the other stuff in the gym and therapy and rehab part first before I even think about skating,” he said.