SUN Hockey Pool

MRI reveals cracked bone in Pronger's foot

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:48 PM ET

Chris Pronger wants to be a part of Team Canada's bid for hockey gold at the Olympics in Turin bad enough he's willing to play with a cracked bone in his right foot to do it.

The Edmonton Oilers defenceman has been hobbled since he was hit by a shot against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at Rexall Place Monday and an MRI Thursday revealed what Pronger is calling "a crack."

Pronger played against the Minnesota Wild last night and is confident he'll still be able to make the trip to Turin, but the potential for aggravating the injury means he'll have to consult with medical staff and GM Kevin Lowe before he gets the green light to go.

"As of now, I am," Pronger said yesterday when asked if he expects to be jetting to Italy.

"I've had the injury before and I've played through it.

"I have a fairly high pain threshold. It hasn't bothered me that much."

Pronger, 31, a gold-medalist with Team Canada at Salt Lake in 2002 who is hoping to participate in his third Olympics, got results of the MRI yesterday before suiting up against Minnesota.

"My allegiance is to the Oilers first and foremost," Pronger said. "If it's going to affect me, I obviously wouldn't put the team in a bad situation, but I feel that I can play.

"My play over the last couple of games has dictated that. It hasn't dropped off."

Pronger says he has more difficulty walking than skating, but he is leaving opinions about the risk of further damage or extending the time it'll take the injury to heal by playing to doctors.

"My foot actually feels better in the skate than when I'm walking," he said.

"You might see me gimping around, but it actually feels pretty good in my skate.

"My agent talked with Kevin and they're aware of it. We're going to see how the game (last night) goes. I don't foresee a problem."

In the event Pronger can't go to Turin, he'd become the third defenceman from Team Canada's roster to withdraw because of injury.

Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer will sit out to have surgery on his right knee and Ed Jovanovski of the Vancouver Canucks is out after having abdominal surgery.

Niedermayer was replaced by Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers and Jovanovski's roster spot was taken by Bryan McCabe of the Toronto Maple Leafs.


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