Flyers defenceman Pronger out up to 6 weeks after surgery on right foot

PHILADELPHIA – Chris Pronger had surgery on his right foot Friday and could miss up to six weeks, depriving the Philadelphia Flyers of their star defenceman.

Pronger broke the first metatarsal on Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens. The injury was discovered after an X-ray and CT scan on Thursday.

“I’m feeling all right. I was moving my foot right after they did the surgery,” Pronger said Saturday. “They put a couple screws in the bone to help strengthen it and hopefully allow it to heal faster and give it the strength it’s going to need to recover in a timely fashion.”

Pronger’s injury could keep him out until February, meaning he would miss about 16 games.

The Flyers headed into Saturday’s game against the New York Rangers leading the NHL with 47 points. Pronger is one of the team’s stalwarts, especially on the power play and penalty kill.

READ ALSO: Blog: Poor between-the-pipes starts and surprising shutouts

He missed the first two games of the 2010-11 season after recovering from off-season knee surgery, but with the Flyers playing well and it still relatively early in the season, there’s no need for Pronger to rush back.

“With the timeframe of the year and where we’re at, we’ve got the luxury of the all-star break coming up right on the heels of when I could possibly return,” he said. “There’s a lot of different variables coming in, we’ll just see how it heals and how it progresses.”

Philadelphia is also without defenceman Matt Walker, who had hip surgery Thursday to remove inflamed synovial tissue. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks.