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Flyers defenseman Lilja had hip surgery

Monday, 08.13.2012 / 6:39 PM / News

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Flyers defenseman Lilja had hip surgery
According to a report this week in Swedish paper Helsingborgs Dablad, defenseman Andreas Lilja has undergone hip surgery and could be out until December.

The hits just keep coming for the Philadelphia Flyers defense.

The team announced Monday that defenseman Andreas Lilja "had left hip surgery in mid-July and is expected back late in October or early November."

The news comes less than a week after the team lost defenseman Andrej Meszaros to an Achilles injury suffered during offseason workouts. He is out indefinitely. Captain Chris Pronger also remains out indefinitely after missing nearly all of the 2011-12 season.

Lilja told Swedish newspaper Helsingborgs Dablad he had a degenerative hip condition that plagued him for a few seasons. When the pain in the joint didn't subside this offseason, he went for a consultation and surgery was recommended.

"I've had problems with my hip for a couple of years and usually the pain goes away during the offseason, but not this year," Lilja is quoted as saying in the article, which was translated by NHL.com/sv contributor Risto Pakarinen. "That's why it had to be operated."

The report said Lilja could be out until December. A Flyers team source, cited by CSNPhilly.com's Tim Panacchio, also said Lilja could miss up to four months.

Lilja, 37, said he was willing to have the surgery and lose part of the 2012-13 season in order to extend his career. He said he was told the surgery could extend his career by up to five years.

"Now I have a new hip and the difference is going to be huge when I hit the ice again," Lilja said. "Especially mentally, because I'll be able to play without the pain. This can mean that my career got five seasons longer."

But the Lilja surgery presents some short-term issues for the Flyers, who enter the 2012-13 season with a patchwork defense featuring Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nick Grossmann, Erik Gustafsson, Luke Schenn, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Bruno Gervais.

Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season