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Pronger recovering slowly from eye injury

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers captain Chris Pronger says he feels lucky that his eye injury isn't as bad as it could have been, but he won't go into detail on his thoughts about wearing a visor when he returns to the ice or if his stance on them has changed.

It should be noted, however, that Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren said Pronger wouldn't be cleared to play unless he agrees to wear a visor.

"That's getting a little ahead of ourselves," Pronger said Saturday night in his first public comments since getting struck in the right eye by Mikhail Grabovski's stick during the first period of last Monday's game against Toronto. "I have to get back on the ice first."

Pronger has no idea when that will be.

Chris Pronger
Defense - PHI
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 7
SOG: 16 | +/-: 2
"This one is not in my hands," he said.

Pronger said his head went numb when the blade of Grabovski's stick caught his eye 11:57 into the first period of a 4-2 Flyers win.

"I couldn't see so I didn't really know what was going on," he added.

Pronger has seeing Dr. Stephen Goldman, a local ophthalmologist. He said his vision is still blurry, but that's likely due to the eye drops he has to take in order to relieve the pressure and swelling in his right eye.

"That's the eye doctor's job to see progress," Pronger said. "I don't think it's stuff you can see cosmetically just looking at me, it's stuff inside the eye, swelling and bleeding."

Pronger was bed-ridden for the first four days after the injury, but he said he got on the exercise bicycle for 15 minutes Saturday. He complained of a sore back.

"I rode the bike gingerly for 15 minutes, which allowed me to get up and move around," he said. "As we go everyday I'll probably do a little bit more."

Mainly, though, Pronger has just been biding his time, waiting for his eye to heal so he could get the go-ahead from Dr. Goldman to start skating again.

"I am catching up on a lot of television. It's all I got right now," Pronger said. "It's a little blurry at times."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the OT winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round