December 09, 2011
"We said it was a virus, but I didn't know what it was. I had never felt like that before where I had headaches and nausea and all the rest of that stuff. So I had a concussion test. I took the baseline test and passed that."
On the Wednesday edition of Marek Vs. Wyshynski, Flyers beat writer Frank Seravalli told us that Pronger had undergone baseline tests, had blood work done and underwent a CAT scan. The mystery lingered. "I'm starting to wonder if there are some post-concussion effects," he told us.
"While Chris' knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms," said Holmgren. "Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, Dec. 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinitely."
While "concussion-like symptoms" doesn't absolutely translate into an actual concussion, reading between the lines says that this is serious. Collins is the doctor Sidney Crosby saw for his concussion that kept him out of action from Jan. 6 to earlier this month.
Mickey Collins becoming the James Andrews of the concussion generation, apparently.
The oddity that was an eye injury that led to a "virus" that became a knee surgery that became a virus is now a concussion for Pronger. Were the Flyers less than forthright about his head trauma? Were both team and player in the dark about it?
I tend to believe nobody knew anything, and that these things can manifest over time. This was Paul Holmgren on Nov. 28, regarding Pronger's knee (via In The Room):
"This has been an issue probably for the last month or so for him that's been nagging," general manager Paul Holmgren said in making the announcement. "He's been playing through it up until his recent bout with his virus. We had believed that through continued rehabilitation and some medicine that it would start to feel better, but Chris saw the doctor yesterday, had another MRI and we just decided that this was the time to go and get this taken care of."
Which is to say that Pronger has had his share of ailments this year, limiting him to 13 games (in which he had 12 points).
Forget that he's signed through 2017 (when he'll make $525,000!); when will he be back this season, and for how long? Because as currently constituted, the Flyers can't win the Stanley Cup without Pronger.
The Winter Classic will miss you, Mr. Pronger. Hopefully HBO works you in.