Pronger to have back surgery

Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger looks on during a stoppage in play at the Prudential Center in...

Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger looks on during a stoppage in play at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., April 22, 2010. (JIM McISAAC/Getty Images/AFP)

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, Last Updated: 6:26 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Flyers announced that defenseman Chris Pronger will have back surgery.

The procedure, which is called a discectomy, will take place on Thursday in New York by Dr. Frank Cammisa at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

A discectomy aims to remove any material in a herniated disc that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord, by cutting out the middle portion of an intervertebral disc which causes pain by putting stress on the spinal cord or radiating nerves.

It will be the fourth surgery in a calendar year for the veteran rearguard. Pronger's most recent time under the knife came in late February, to repair a fracture in his right hand suffered when a puck hit him in that hand.

That came on the heels of knee surgery last July and a foot procedure around Christmas. The 36-year-old played in just 50 regular-season games in 2010-11, his fewest since a season-ending injury limited him to five games with the Blues in 2002-03.

Pronger was limited to only three playoff games out of the 11 the Flyers played.

On Tuesday, general manager Paul Holmgren revealed that five other players were scheduled to go under the knife in the off-season. Holmgren updated their statuses on Wednesday.

Captain Mike Richards underwent successful surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his left wrist. He is expected to begin rehabilitation in four weeks. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros had a similar procedure performed on his right wrist.

Forward Blair Betts had surgery on his left pinkie finger and will also begin rehab in four weeks.

Goaltender Michael Leighton was scheduled for surgery on his hip on Wednesday afternoon, and his status was unknown.


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