Pronger Still Dealing With Effects Of Virus

1 Dec

It’s one thing to have knee surgery, know that an issue has been resolved and have a timeline and clear path to recovery. But Chris Pronger is also dealing with a “virus,” one he says that doctors haven’t been able to figure out yet. That, far more than his fifth documented surgery in 16 months, is scary.

“I just didn’t feel well. I don’t know what it was,” said Pronger in a conference call. “We said it was a virus, but I don’t know what it was. I never felt like that before, where I had headaches and nausea and all the rest of that stuff. I had a concussion test — did the baseline test and passed that. I’ve just never felt like this where you get lightheaded, you have headaches, you’re nauseous and it’s been a bit of a mystery as to what’s going on. I’ve done blood work and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”

He used the past tense, but when further questioned, the 37-year-old admitted he’s still dealing with the effects of his mystery illness that has kept him off the ice since Nov. 19. Somehow, with this illness, he was still able to go under the knife for knee surgery.

“We’re still trying to ascertain what’s going on,” said Pronger. “Like I said, I’ve never felt like this before, so I don’t really know what’s going on.”

According to general manager Paul Holmgren, Pronger is feeling much better than he had been. Apparently, according to Pronger, well enough to begin rehab for his surgically repaired left knee on Friday. He had the same operation on his right knee in the offseason before last season. That kept him out of commission for about nine weeks. This time, the preliminary ballpark is four weeks.

“We just kind of gave a ballpark number, because we don’t really know,” said Pronger.

“There was a little bit more damage in the one a couple years ago. There was some pretty big chunks they took out. It was not as clean as this one was. The doctor was pretty pleased when he got in there to see what was involved.”

Pronger said that this most recent knee issue was something that he noticed weeks ago and eventually realized he couldn’t play through it.

“It’s gradually gotten worse since I had come back from the eye injury,” said Pronger. “When I stopped skating, as I started to work out it started to bother me. I do my daily workouts and try to do legs every other day and what not and it got to the point where I couldn’t do my leg workout, so I knew something was wrong.

“I don’t remember ever getting hit. I don’t remember ever catching it in a rut or doing anything. I’ve got a couple suspicions, but I don’t really know.”

The injuries are piling up for the 37-year-old who called last season “the year from hell.” He’s not quite ready to place the same label on this season, noting that his most recent stretch of bad luck is just a few fluky injuries.

“I get hit with a puck; I broke my foot. I get hit with a puck in the hand and I broke my hand. I get slashed in the face; I hurt my eye. I hurt my knee in the game against Boston in the Stanley Cup playoffs. This one, I don’t really know,” said Pronger. “The only one that was really perplexing was the back. I don’t know how or what happened there and probably never will.

“That’s just one of those things. You look at the number of injuries and it would seem to me that they’re kind of fluky. Three of them, I get hit with a puck or a stick. They’re everyday hockey occurrences. They could happen to anyone.”

Unfortunately, so could a mystery illness. And the fact that no one knows what Pronger’s is yet is more troubling than a few blocked shots and a high stick.

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