Add Andreas Lilja to the growing list of unfortunates in this offseason.
The Swedish defenseman pronounced himself out for the next four months after undergoing hip surgery, according to a report in a Swedish-language publication translated by Bill Meltzer on this otherwise beautiful Sunday.
The 37-year-old totaled six assists in only 46 regular-season games for Philly last season, his first here after spending 2010-11 with the Anaheim Ducks.
Lilja was also on the shelf due to a high ankle sprain suffered on the day after Thanksgiving in a matinee home victory over the Montreal Canadiens, but returned before Christmas. He then was absent from January 12-February 2 and from February 16-March 4.
So, that’s no Lilja until at least December, no Andrej Meszaros until the end of a full season, Pavel Kubina remains unsigned, Chris Pronger’s career is cooked, and Bruno Gervais is your seventh defenseman.
Oh, how the mighty Redwoods fall, rotted from the inside. So we wait and we wonder.
(Ed. note: according to CSN Philly, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren says that Lilja will not miss four months, but just the start of the season, if it begins as scheduled on October 11. Sigh…another case where doctors close to the team apparently know better than the ones who actually performed the operation in another country. The PR acrobatics are getting more intense and complicated)
Further update: The Flyers on Monday afternoon revealed that Lilja’s surgery was performed on his left hip in mid-July and that he is expected back in early November at the latest.