Forsberg set to have surgery on right foot

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers resembled the walking wounded throughout the 2005-06 season. Superstar center Peter Forsberg may not even be walking when the 2006-07 campaign begins.

The Flyers on Thursday announced that Forsberg, who is in need of surgical procedures on both of his feet, will undergo an operation on his right foot Monday.

A former Calder, Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner, Forsberg met with the media on Wednesday to announce he would likely be out of action until January due to the surgeries. On Thursday, team trainer Jim McCrossin stated the Swede would undergo the first procedure next week.

"The date for surgery has been set for Monday, May 15, at 3 p.m.," McCrossin said. "The procedure is taking place in Charlotte, N.C, and Dr. Robert Anderson is going to be performing the surgery. From what I understand, the surgery will take approximately three hours. Peter will be staying overnight and he should be discharged on May 16."

Forsberg, who recorded 19 goals and 56 assists in 60 games during the regular season and added four tallies and eight points in Philadelphia's six-game loss to the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, described the injuries Wednesday.

"I don't know the exact term, but I think it's just supination, you lean outside on your foot," he said. "It's very uncommon, the doctor was telling me some basketball players have this. Plus, I have a very hard arch and my foot is kind of leaning toward the other side, and that tears through the ligaments all the time.

"Through the years, it has been getting worse and worse, and the foot is getting kind of crooked, that is kind of what is going on. Actually, both [feet] are doing the same thing. So if I am going to keep on playing, I am going to have to get [the surgeries] done," he continued.

The surgeries do not stop there for the Flyers, who had 388 man-games lost to injury this season.

Simon Gagne, who scored a career-high 47 goals this season, underwent right hip surgery on Wednesday. Unlike linemate Forsberg, Gagne is expected to be ready to start the 2006-07 campaign.

"Simon had surgery by Dr. Mark Philippon out in Vail, Colo.," McCrossin said. "I spoke with Dr. Philippon and he felt the surgery went very successful. Simon had a very large tear in his labrum and he also had impingement where the head of the femur was hitting up against the acetabulum, where it sits in the ball-and-socket joint.

"Dr. Philippon feels that Simon will be completely recovered in about eight weeks. Simon should be on his way home back to New Jersey [on Thursday night] from Vail and will be starting his rehab with me [Friday]," he said.

Forwards Michal Handzus, Donald Brashear and Branko Radivojevic had procedures performed on their left shoulders last week, while Turner Stevenson and captain Derian Hatcher underwent right knee surgeries Tuesday.

Defenseman Mike Rathje and goaltender Robert Esche were slated to have right hip procedures this week and rookie netminder Antero Niittymaki will have a similar operation later this month. Defenseman Denis Gauthier and forwards Brian Savage and Sami Kapanen are also expected to undergo right shoulder surgery next week.

Veteran blue-liner Eric Desjardins was set to have a left hip procedure done Wednesday but opted to wait until his career ends.

"It is something we talked about when I was in Nashville with [Dr. Thomas Byrd]," Desjardins said. "At the same time, Jim McCrossin and I talked about it. It's just a decision we decided to make because the only problem I've had in the past was my back, and I felt it was really caused by my hip.

"Talking with Dr. Byrd, he said that even having the surgery, he couldn't promise that it is going to take care of my back problems, so I decided to hold and wait. If it gets worse, maybe [surgery] would be considered, but right now, my hip is not really causing me any discomfort or any pain. The damage is there, but I've been playing with it for five or six years. I don't see why we should go in and get it fixed," he said.

Rookie forward R.J. Umberger, who missed Game 2o of the conference quarterfinals after being the recipient of a crushing check by Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell, traveled to Latvia to play for Team USA in the World Championships but still is feeling the effects of the hit.

"R.J. was complaining of head-like symptoms, like dizziness," McCrossin said. "He just wasn't feeling right after the first game that he played in Latvia. We, along with the Team USA physicians, thought it would be best that R.J. come back home and get evaluated by our physicians and see exactly what is happening."

Finally, Keith Primeau -- who missed 73 regular-season games and all six playoff contests with post-concussion symptoms -- was expected to have a broken nose repaired this week.