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Chris Pronger expected to practice with Flyers on Friday, could be back by next week

Jan 12, 2011, 5:26 PM EDT

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Today presents some great news for the Philadelphia Flyers and bad news for … well, just about everyone else.

No, the NHL didn’t decide to award power plays instead of penalties for instigating fights. Instead, word has it that menacing defenseman Chris Pronger is expected to meet up with the team in Atlanta to practice on Friday and might be able to return to game action as early as next week, according to Stephen Whyno of the Philadelphia Sports Daily.

The window for the elbow-throwing, elite blueliner’s return was expected to be 4-6 weeks. If he comes back next week, that would mean he made it back closer to the four week end of that spectrum.

Of course, it’s important to note that Pronger is still rehabbing that injury. It’s possible he might hit a setback or decide that he needs some conditioning stints to get back into game shape before he can return to the lineup full-time.

The Flyers could have the option to add two large defensemen back into their lineup if they choose because it sounds like Matt Walker’s condition is improving, too. Whyno reports that the team took the yellow “no contact” jersey off Walker, although there is no time table for his return.

We’ll keep you updated as the two hulking defensemen try to make their way back to the ice for the East-leading Flyers.

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