Chris Pronger's self-described "year from hell" may not be over just yet.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced yesterday that Pronger will undergo surgery today in New York City to relieve a herniated disc in his lower back. The procedure is called a discectomy and will be performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
"The success rate for a surgery like that is usually about 95 percent," Dr. Todd Wetzel, the vice chair of orthopedic surgery and spine expert at Temple University Hospital, told the Daily News. "But that also means that five out of every 100 people will still experience chronic symptoms, like weakness, pain or numbness. For most people, that would be tolerable. But for a high-performance athlete, that may be a different story."
Goaltender Michael Leighton had nearly the exact same surgery last October, albeit with a different surgeon, and he was still experiencing numbness in his left foot late this season.
Pronger, who played in just 53 games last season including the playoffs, said he is not worried about fulfilling the remaining 6 years left on his contract at $29.85 million.
Four other Flyers had successful surgeries yesterday, including Leighton, who underwent a hip operation to repair a torn labrum.
Mike Richards will begin rehab in 4 weeks after a successful operation to repair torn cartilage in his left wrist. Richards was originally scheduled to recap last season in a conference call with reporters yesterday.
Blair Betts had his left pinkie finger repaired, which exploded when he blocked a shot on Feb. 18 in Carolina, and his rehab schedule will start in approximately 4 weeks.
Similarly, Andrej Meszaros - who won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers' best defenseman - had successful surgery to repair torn cartilage and a torn ligament in his right wrist.
All five players are expected to be healthy for the start of training camp in mid-September.