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'Minor setback' for Flyers defenseman Pronger

The plan was for Chris Pronger to return to the Flyers next week, just in time to get in a final tuneup or two before the regular season ends next Saturday.

The plan was for Chris Pronger to return to the Flyers next week, just in time to get in a final tuneup or two before the regular season ends next Saturday.

It appears that's not going to happen now, according to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. Pronger, who had hand surgery on March 15 to repair a small fracture, first started skating and stickhandling again just a little more than 9 days later.

Now, Pronger hasn't skated since Monday.

"I think he probably pushed it a little too quickly in the rehab," Holmgren said. "I would classify it as a minor setback. We were hoping that he would play some games at the end of the regular season, but that's probably, more than likely, out of the equation."

With the setback, the Flyers have changed their approach to rehab. Pronger was originally scheduled to miss 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery.

"We're not going to be real aggressive at this point," Holmgren said. "The playoffs are obviously more important. We'll monitor it on a daily basis."

Holmgren said doctors still expect Pronger - who will have missed the last 16 games of the regular season - to be 100 percent healthy for the playoffs.

Pronger was not available to the media last night - and said earlier in the week he was "on vacation" when asked for comment - but Holmgren said his eagerness to play is what caused the setback.

"Chris wants to play," Holm-gren said. "Maybe we got the cart a little bit ahead of the horse there."

- Frank Seravalli

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