Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger misses second straight game because of injury

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PHILADELPHIA - Flyers all-star defenceman Chris Pronger sat out on Saturday night against the Atlanta Thrashers because of an undisclosed upper body injury.

Pronger, who has missed two consecutive games, is believed to have a right wrist injury. He was hurt on Feb. 24 against the New York Islanders when his hand was struck with a puck.

Philadelphia hopes he will return to action Tuesday at Florida.

Pronger sat out at Ottawa on Feb. 26 and then played in the Flyers' next four games. The injury acted up again Tuesday against Edmonton, and Pronger was forced to miss Thursday's game at Toronto. Nick Boynton replaced him in the lineup.

Pronger has been wearing a removable cast on his wrist for a few days. Neither X-rays or an MRI revealed any damage, and Pronger has been practicing with the Flyers.

"There's just something going on in there," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "It's inhibiting his strength a little bit. If you're a hockey player and can't grip your stick, you're going to have a hard time. He was better (Saturday) in practice and that's all we can go by.

"We'll just see how it goes."

The 36-year-old Pronger has 25 points in 50 games and averages 22 minutes, 29 seconds of ice time. He has sat out 18 games this season because of injuries.

"We miss him in the lineup," coach Peter Laviolette said. "The fact that he's not in there, everybody gets concerned about that. He plays 25 minutes, 22 minutes because we're not pressing him that much.

"He's a guy that does a lot of things for us and plays in a lot of situations. Certainly you'd like to have him in the lineup, but he's not available."

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