Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers says he will know in a couple of days if he will require back surgery to repair a ‘bulging or herniated disc in his lower back’. If Pronger requires surgery, the operation will mark the fourth time he’s gone under the knife in the past 10 months. Pronger appeared in just 50 games this season due to operations on his right knee, right hand, and right foot.

Pronger played in just three of the Flyers’ 10 playoff games, registering one assist and finishing with a -3 rating. Although he isn’t sure when exactly the injury to his back occurred, Pronger did say that his surgically repaired right hand was never really 100%:

“My hand is still at the stage where I need to continue to work at it and get stronger,” Pronger said. “It was to the point I could play, but I still don’t have a lot of grip strength, still don’t have full range of motion and all the rest of that. It’s still where it was, I just need to continue to … once they figure out the next step for my other injury, I have to continue to work on it and stay on top of it and rehab with that. So come summertime when I can begin my training program for the next season that there’s no issues.”

The 36-year old defenceman will await word from team doctors on the possibility of back surgery. Opting for another operation would catapult Pronger into the Heidi Montag sphere of ‘surgeries per year’, but the often vilified Pronger remains positive on his prospects for playing a full season in 2011-12:

“Started this season with a surgery and I’m going to end it … who knows whether I got another one or not,” Pronger said. “From an injury standpoint it’s been the toughest year. You start to get back, start feeling good and another one crops up. Hopefully a good summer of training and rehab on the various issues I’ve had this year will rectify all those and I can come into camp next year in a lot better shape, a lot healthier and able to hopefully play all 82 games next year.”

Chris Pronger will turn 37-years old in October, and had played 82-games in back-to-back seasons before losing the battle to injuries in 2010-11.

With files from NHL.com, stick tap KuklasKorner