Chris Pronger could be ready for the start of the season after all.
The Flyers defenseman (and favorite to be named next captain) is making strides toward being able to begin the season with the team. Recovering from back issues that caused him to seriously delay his offseason preparations to the point he couldn't even lift weights, Pronger has twice skated in full equipment recently, leading to speculation he is progressing faster than anticipated.
Here's Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, courtesy of Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News:
“I think he is doing better than even he thought he would,” Holmgren said. “He’s pushed the envelope a little bit over the last few days, going on the ice and shooting the puck. I asked him the other day how far behind he is in terms of what he normally would have done, he said he probably would have skated a couple weeks ago.”
Does that mean Pronger, who turns 37 next month, could be ready for the start of the season on Oct. 6, despite not being cleared to lift weights well into August? Holmgren said Pronger has not had any setbacks.
“I think he’s right on track for all he’s been through,” Holmgren said. “I’m excited for him being ready at the start of the season and I think he is, too.”
Doesn't even sound like cautious optimism to me.
As much as Philly would love to have Pronger back on the ice, there is zero need to rush him. He hasn't been the sturdiest player in recent years. Obviously they would rather still have him at season's end and miss the beginning than the other way around. But then again the Flyers open with the defending champion Bruins, so perhaps Pronger is pushing a little harder to be on the ice for that game.
But the one thing we can certainly take from this is that Pronger is coming along well and shouldn't be off the ice for too long to open the year.
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