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Andreas Lijla says he’s out 4 months, as Flyers lose another defenseman

Sean Leahy
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Brother, can you spare the Philadelphia Flyers a defenseman?

The Flyers blueline took another hit on Sunday as it was reported in Swedish newspaper Helsinborgs Dagblad that Andreas Lilja will miss four months after undergoing hip surgery.

If you're counting at home that's Lilja (hip), Andrej Meszaros (Achilles) and Chris Pronger (concussion), who the Flyers will be without for some period of time (or likely all in Pronger's case) during the 2012-13 season.

Here's what Lilja told the paper, via translation by Matias Strozyk:

"I've had problems for a couple of years but usually the pain eased over summer. Not this year, so I needed surgery."

...

"Now I have a new hip and the difference will be big when I return. Not least mentally, since I can now move without pain."

...

"Missing the first two months won't matter much. Now I will be alert and pain-free once the fun starts."

Lilja also said that this surgery may have extended his career "five seasons". The 37-year old, who has played 46, 52 and 20 games, respectively, over the past three seasons, is in the final year of his contract.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was unavailable for comment, according to CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio.

With three missing defensemen, it opens the door for newly-signed Marc-Andre Bourdon and fellow youngster Erik Gustafsson to fill roles in the back. If the Flyers needed to make a move after the Meszaros news, as Broad Street Hockey pointed out, how desperate should they be now that their depth has taken a hit?

UPDATE: Holmgren text Panaccio, "He did have surgery [and] should be back late October or early November." Now, will there even be hockey in October or November?

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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