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Flyers' Umberger set for season-ending surgery

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers forward R.J. Umberger will have surgery Wednesday to repair torn muscles in his right abdomen and hip, the Flyers announced Saturday. Recovery time is expected to be about 10 weeks.

Umberger, 32, has a career-worst 15 points in 67 games this season, and has been scratched from the lineup the previous two games. His nine goals are the second-fewest of his career, after the eight goals he had in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Umberger's injuries have bothered him for a while.

R.J. Umberger
Center - PHI
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 15
SOG: 96 | +/-: -9
"I had a good talk with him two days ago," Hextall said. "I would say probably more of the season than less."

Umberger was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in July for Scott Hartnell. While Hartnell has scored 20 goals for the Blue Jackets, Umberger has struggled all season.

When he was sat out for the first time Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, Umberger admitted he couldn't argue much with the decision.

"I've been searching all year trying to figure it out [why he's struggled]," Umberger said. "You get some good moments and then you lose it. I think confidence has a lot to do with it. There's no excuses. You've got to figure it out and if not you're going to be in the press box. That's the way it goes. Like I said, I probably deserve it."

Hextall said he thought Umberger should have come to the team sooner about his issues, but said it was difficult to be angry with a player trying to play through a serious injury.

"R.J.'s not happy with his year; we're not happy with his year," Hextall said. "That's life. He was in some pain, he was in some discomfort and he had physical deficiencies that were hurting his game. Hard to be mad at the guy when you know what he's going through. When I talked with him he said it was hard when he went home. He has to lay on the floor all the time. He's in some pain. R.J.'s a lot tougher guy than people give him credit for."

After the Flyers play the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, the Flyers start a four-game road trip Sunday at the Ottawa Senators. Hextall said the Flyers will call up a forward from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League for the duration of the trip, but wasn't sure who it would be.

"We're going to have to call up a forward," he said. "We only have 12 forwards so we'll discuss it. Probably the next day we'll call somebody up."

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