Coach: Chris Pronger's return unknown

Updated: August 24, 2010, 5:23 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said Tuesday he doesn't "have a sense yet" as to when star defenseman Chris Pronger will return from offseason knee surgery.

While taking part in this week's World Hockey Summit in Toronto, Laviolette told reporters he doesn't have a timetable for the blueliner's return but has "no level of concern" about Pronger's status.

Pronger had a minor procedure on his right knee at the end of July. He has been in rehab since, riding stationary bikes in an attempt to make it back at least by Philadelphia's opener on Oct. 7 at Pittsburgh. When speaking of his status last week, Pronger would not put a timetable on his return and said he's in "no hurry."

One thing Laviolette is sure of is that he'll be working with forward Nikolai Zherdev, who signed with the Flyers as a free agent earlier this summer after spending the 2009-10 season in the Continental Hockey League.

"I have not talked to him yet. I'm sure I'll see him shortly," Laviolette said. "I'm excited to work with a guy that has that much talent. He's a skilled player and we try to play a fast, puck-moving, puck-possession game that goes forward, and I think it'll be a good start for him and a good opportunity for the Flyers organization."

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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