Flyers newcomer Walker out 10-to-12 weeks after hip surgery
But formal reintroductions will have to wait at least 10 to 12 weeks, as the newly acquired defenseman will undergo hip surgery today in Nashville, Tenn., to repair a nagging injury.
"Matt Walker will undergo surgery on his right hip [today] to repair a bony impingement and a torn labrum," general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "The surgery will take place in Nashville and will be performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd. Matt is expected to be out of action for 10-12 weeks."
Walker, who was acquired from Tampa Bay on July 19 with a fourth-round pick in exchange for Simon Gagne, had yet to play in the regular season because of his injury.
Walker, 30, first experienced pain before his fight with Matt Kassian on Sept. 25 in a non-televised preseason game in Minnesota. But during that fight with Kassian, Walker got tangled up, fell awkwardly and decided to seek medical attention.
"It's just one of those things that affected how I play the game," Walker said yesterday. "As a defenseman, your hip is twisting a lot with skating, shooting and pivoting. It's definitely something in the long run that is best to take care of now rather than be limping into the second half of the season."
Even with Walker out close to 3 months, Holmgren said he would be unlikely to utilize the Long Term Injured Reserve cushion in the salary cap for Walker's $1.7 million salary. Michael Leighton's $1.55 million salary is already on LTIR. The Flyers said they would rather not put Ian Laperriere's $1.16 million on the LTIR as it could impede future moves, even though Laperriere is likely out for the entire season.
Walker, a Beaverlodge, Alberta, native, is a lumbering (6-4, 215 pounds), stay-at-home defenseman. For now, the Flyers will not need to recall anyone to replace him on the roster. Oskars Bartulis, who played the first two regular-season games while Chris Pronger continued rehabbing his knee, will act as the extra defenseman.
Slap shotsThe Flyers did not practice yesterday . . . Former Flyer Danny Syvret, who signed with Anaheim as a free agent last summer, was recalled by the Ducks yesterday. Syvret has been in the AHL at Syracuse, and will serve as Anaheim's extra defenseman tonight in Columbus unless rookie Cam Fowler (broken nose) cannot play. The Ducks are in Philly tomorrow night.
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