Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger hasn't shot a puck since re-injuring his surgically repaired right hand more than two weeks ago but says he's "very" confident he'll play in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres. Playing in Game 1 at the Wells Fargo Center Thursday night, however, remains doubtful. "I guess you'll have to wait and find out, won't you?" Pronger said in an animated but cryptic meeting with reporters at the Skate Zone on Tuesday. Pronger skated for 50 minutes with teammates Matt Walker, Ian Laperriere and Oskars Bartulis before Tuesday's practice -- he said it was his seventh straight day on the ice -- but did not handle any pucks. He will try stick-handling today but has been restricted from shooting pucks, which is how he re-injured his hand less than two weeks after his March 14 surgery. "He had a plate and screws put in, and until that fully heals and he has the flexibility and strength to grip his stick . . ." Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "It's coming along nicely and we'll see how he does (today)." Holmgren said "freezing" Pronger's hand with an injection is not an option. Asked if his status could change in just one day, Pronger said, "Come to practice (today) and we'll see, how's that? Things might change (today). Every day is a new day. Some days you have setbacks, other days you have steps forward. It's just the nature of the beast."
Pronger planning 1st-round return
Courier-Post | Apr 13