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Flyers Simon Gagne could need surgery on hernias

by Dan Rosen
WASHINGTON -- Flyers left wing Simon Gagne's bid to play in his third Olympic Games could be in serious jeopardy. Perhaps the rest of his season is as well.

Gagne has two small hernias in one of his groins, and the team is mulling surgery.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said earlier Tuesday that Gagne was examined by Dr. Allen Schurict from Pennsylvania Hospital after an ultrasound found the hernias in his right groin area. He said the team's medical staff will discuss with Gagne his options on Wednesday.

Riley Cote took Gagne's spot in the lineup against the Capitals on Tuesday night.

"I can't really say for sure (on surgery)," Holmgren said prior to the game between the Flyers and Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center. "We need to sit down and talk with Simon about the whole thing. It is an option. Whether that's the route we go, I don't know now. I know it's very vague but that's only because I don't know."

Gagne, who had double hernia surgery after the 2006-07 season and hip surgery following last season, suffered a mild strain in his right groin during Canada's Olympic orientation camp in Calgary in late August.

However, Holmgren said he has been led to believe that Gagne's current injury is not related to the one he had over the summer. Gagne left Hockey Canada's camp after one day and has struggled so far this season with only one goal and four assists in nine games.

"We handled Simon very carefully this time based on what happened at the Hockey Canada camp in August," Holmgren said. "Coming back to our training camp we made an effort to give him more time than maybe he thought was needed. I think this is just a totally different thing. From what I understand it's not related to what happened in the summer."

The Flyers did not recall anybody from Adirondack, their AHL affiliate, for tonight's game. Holmgren said that center Blair Betts (shoulder) and defenseman Ryan Parent (groin) are close to returning to the lineup, so he might not have to call anyone up.

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