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Flyers hope Bartulis is ready

Hope your skates are sharpened, Oskars Bartulis.

Because he's going to be needing them over the next few weeks, now that Chris Pronger will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with foot surgery, the Flyers announced on Friday.

TSN's Darren Dreger in Canada first broke the news.

Dr. Steven Raikin, the same doctor who repaired Jeff Carter's left and right feet last season, will repair Pronger's first metatarsal, which was broken on Wednesday night after blocking a shot in the second period.

The surgery will be performed this afternoon.

The silver lining, if there is any for a team that is about to miss their MVP defenseman, is that the Flyers are about to have an 8-day layoff starting after Monday's game with the Panthers.

The Flyers play just 11 games over the next 30 days - and Pronger could miss up to 16 games if he is out for the full 6 weeks.

Bartulis, who practiced with Braydon Coburn and Sean O'Donnell on Friday, will likely see his first action since Nov. 1.

Bartulis, who saw a little time in the Stanley Cup Final last season, has spent most of the season as the Flyers' extra defenseman. He played the first two games of the season with Pronger missing time due to a knee injury and then sat a month before playing his next game.

The Flyers signed Bartulis to a 3-year, 1-way contract extension last season, just 10 days after making his NHL debut last November.

At the minimum, Pronger would be added to the injured reserve, which would clear at least a roster space for the Flyers to recall a player from the Phantoms - perhaps defenseman Danny Syvret - to help out in case Bartulis is a bit rusty.

Syvret played 6 games with the Anaheim Ducks this season, after signing with them as a free agent in July. The Flyers re-acquired Syvret in November from Anaheim. Syvret scored the Flyers' only goal in the Winter Classic last year. He has played more than 50 NHL games in his pro career.

More coming...

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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