Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said surgery on his knee Tuesday went well, but that's about all the good news he had in speaking with reporters Thursday.
The Flyers estimated their captain could be out a month recovering from the procedure to clean up loose bodies in his left knee, but Pronger said he really has no idea how long he'll be out.
"I haven't started my rehab," he said. "As I progress I'll know more. Gauging off when I had my other knee done a couple years ago, a month sounds about right. It may be three weeks, may be six weeks. We gave a ballpark number because we don't know."
Pronger said the knee had been bothering him since he returned from his eye injury Nov. 9.
"It's been gradually getting worst since I came back from the eye injury," he said. "When I stopped skating, as I stared to work out, it started to bother me. I do my daily workouts and try to do legs every other day. It got to the point where I couldn't do my leg workout, so I knew something was wrong. We got the MRI, got on it quickly and got it fixed."
If it's four weeks, Pronger could be back by Dec. 27, and would miss 12 games. Any longer and his participation in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic would be in jeopardy.
"If it was the playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final, I could play," he said. "It was to the point where I wouldn't have played very well. We always say we can play, but at what level and what detriment are you playing? This stage of the season … it was prudent to get it done now so that if I'm able to return in four weeks, then I'm able to get three weeks in before the All-Star break and put the hammer down after that for the playoff push and stretch drive."
More troubling than the knee, however, is the reason Pronger missed four games prior to having surgery.
The team said he had a virus, but Pronger said neither he nor the doctors he's met with have any idea what's been affecting him.
"We said it was a virus but I didn't know what it was," he said. "I've never felt like that before -- headaches, nausea, all the rest of that. I had a concussion test, did the baseline test and passed that. I've just never felt like this where you get light-headed, you have headaches, you're nauseous. It's been a bit of a mystery what exactly is going on. Did some blood work, and we're trying to get to the bottom of what's going on."
Pronger said he's feeling a bit better, but still isn't 100 percent.
"We're still trying to ascertain what's going on," he said. "I've never felt like this before. I don't really know what's going on."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK