Flyers' Umberger will have surgery, miss rest of season
For most of the season, Flyers winger R.J. Umberger has seemed slow and out of sync.
The reason became clear Saturday.
Umberger, 32, will undergo surgery Wednesday on his right hip and abdominal muscles, the Flyers announced.
General manager Ron Hextall said Umberger had two cam lesions in his right hip, and added that it's not unusual for players to play through that type of injury.
The Flyers knew about the condition, Hextall said, when they acquired Umberger and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick from Columbus last June for Scott Hartnell.
"This didn't come out of the blue. It was inevitable last summer," Hextall said. "We knew at the end of the year he would be getting surgery. It's one of those things where you lean on the player. If he's in too much pain and can't perform and you feel like his performance isn't helping. then it's like, 'OK, let's shut him down and get him ready for next year.' "
The abdominal tear, Hextall said, is what slowed Umberger for "months" and eventually shut him down for the season.
"He probably should have come to us a little bit earlier," Hextall said, "but I give him credit that he didn't because he's a tough guy."
Umberger finishes the season with just nine goals, a career-low 15 points and a minus-9 rating. He went goal-less in his 18 games, a career-worst streak.
"R.J.'s not happy with his year. We're not happy with his year. That's life," Hextall said. "He was in some pain. He was in some discomfort where he had physical deficiencies that were hurting his game. It's kind of hard to be mad at a guy when you know what he was going through. Quite frankly, when I talked to him, he said it was hard when he went home. He had to lay on the floor all the time. He's been in some pain."
Umberger was scratched the last three games. After he was scratched Tuesday, the winger said, "I think the biggest thing that's bothered me is just that I feel like I've let Ron Hextall down."
Hextall said the "medical people" told him the hip could not get any worse, which is why Umberger tried to play through that injury.
The Flyers will recall a forward Sunday, said Hextall, adding that defenseman Michael Del Zotto (upper-body injury) will make the road trip but will not play Sunday in Ottawa.
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