Pronger to miss a month following knee surgery

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The Philadelphia Flyers announced that defenseman Chris Pronger will undergo surgery on his right knee tomorrow and miss the next four weeks of action.

“The procedure will clean out some loose particles that have given Chris some problems over the last month or so,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. “We were hopeful that the time missed with a virus that Chris has been fighting would settle things down in his knee, but after an examination yesterday, it was decided that the surgery is the way to go at this time.”

Oof. What a nightmare 2011 has been for Pronger’s health — just look at his injury calendar (courtesy TSN):

Jan. 20: Missed 13 games (right foot surgery)

Mar. 3: Missed one game (hand injury)

Apr. 24: Missed last 16 games of the regular season and five playoff games vs. Buffalo (right hand injury)

May. 5: Missed three playoff games vs. Boston (undisclosed).

Nov. 9: Missed six games (right eye injury).

And the virus Holmgren alluded to earlier has kept Pronger out of Philly’s last four contests.

All told, Pronger has missed 37 of Philly’s last 67 regular-season games. Pretty crazy. But what’s really crazy is that prior to this wretched injury string, Pronger hadn’t missed a game in two years. He played all 82 games in his last season in Anaheim and his first in Philadelphia — while averaging over 26 minutes per contest.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering about tomorrow’s surgery date — four weeks from tomorrow will be Dec. 28. That would (theoretically) give Pronger four days of skating/practicing/playing before the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic.