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Back surgery will sideline Michael Leighton 6-8 weeks; can Sergei Bobrovsky steal top job?

Oct 8, 2010, 4:05 PM EST

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Thumbnail image for prongerandleighton.jpgTough injury-related news out of Philadelphia today: the Flyers just announced that goalie Michael Leighton will need surgery on his back. That procedure will keep Leighton out six to eight weeks according to the team.

Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren told philadelphiaflyers.com that goaltender Michael Leighton will have back surgery on Monday, Oct. 11 at Methodist in Philadelphia.

“The procedure, a partial discectomy, will be performed by Dr. Alex Vacarro,” said Holmgren. “Michael will be out six to eight weeks.”

You have to wonder if even a two-month window is a little bit conservative for something as serious as back surgery, so either way, the team shouldn’t expect Leighton to be back anytime soon.

Thumbnail image for bobrovskystealsshow.jpgA Flyers fan (or outside observer) could look at the situation a few ways. One negative approach is to say that the Flyers are forever doomed in net, as the team went through a ridiculous carousel last season because of injuries and didn’t even wait for the season to begin the pattern this year.

Of course, on the other hand, this gives Sergei Bobrovsky a very real chance to earn himself a spot with the team. It’s way too early to say that the rookie is an “answer” in net for Philadelphia, but he stole the show against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night as the Flyers won 3-2.

Who knows if this injury will have a huge impact on the Flyers or not, but in an ideal world, Leighton would return from his back surgery trying to win the No. 2 job from Brian Boucher instead of returning to save the day as the team’s two goalies fall apart. We’ll just have to wait and see, then.

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In shorter term injury news, Sam Carchidi reports that Chris Pronger is a “long shot” to play for the Flyers on Saturday. Surely the team will like to have their cornerstone defenseman back as soon as possible on the heels of that bad goalie news, but Philadelphia will probably err on the side of safety with its huge blue line star.

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