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Pronger skates, return date unknown

by Adam Kimelman

PHILADELPHIA -- Chris Pronger took part in his first full morning skate since injuring his eye Oct. 24, and said the biggest issue for him is getting his conditioning back where it needs to be.

"It's a process," he said following practice this morning at Wells Fargo Center. "When you don't do anything for a week, you lose a little bit, your timing. Really you're just trying to do drills to get that back, get your conditioning back."

Pronger also is adjusting to wearing a visor for the first time in his NHL career. He said he did wear one in juniors, but he played his last junior game in May 1993.

He said he hadn't had too much of an issue with the visor so far, but said he really wouldn't know how it might affect him until he gets into a game.

"I haven't really done much out there, contact-wise, to really tell," Pronger said. "I haven't played in a game so I can't really tell you. I haven't done anything other than skate. It hasn't fogged up because I haven't been doing much.

"It is clear, so I can see through it. But there is that lip (at the bottom), and you're used to not really having to look, it's right there. It is a bit of an adjustment. Sometimes it's something you have to do and you just get used to it."

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Friday that the vision in Pronger's right eye has returned to pre-injury level. Pronger said he still is taking things slowly.

"I have to keep seeing how I do after each day," Pronger said. "I've been slowly doing more and more every day. See how my head responds."

Pronger isn't ready to circle a return date, but after tonight, the Flyers don't play again until Wednesday in Tampa Bay, which certainly works in his favor as far as limiting the number of games he misses.

"I'll get a couple good practices and try to crank it up and see how I feel," he said.

He's missed five games (it'll become six tonight), and Pronger said one of the things he's noticed is a lack of consistency and a missing killer instinct. He cited Thursday's loss to New Jersey, when the Flyers blew two leads en route to a 4-3 shootout loss, as an example.

"I think the biggest thing is consistency," he said. "We have to play 60 minutes of hockey to be successful. Taking periods off, shifts off, all the rest of that costs you games, and has in the past this year, and previous years I've been here. We have to figure out how to play 60 minutes and make sure when you get teams down like we did the other night, 2-0, you put on the gas and put our foot on the throat, closing games out. It's a learning process and something we need to learn early on in the season to make sure as the season goes on we get better at that."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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