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LeClair Has Scar Tissue Removed

July 10, 2002

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Philadelphia Flyers forward John LeClair underwent surgery Tuesday to remove scar tissue that has built up since his a back operation in October 2000.

The procedure performed at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Los Angeles by orthopedic surgeon Robert G. Watkins.

``It went just as expected, no problems involved,″ Watkins said.

Watkins said LeClair was expected to leave the hospital Wednesday and could be ready to leave Los Angeles five days after the surgery. It will be 2-to-3 weeks before LeClair is ready to begin rehabilitation exercises, Watkins said.

``His prognosis is very good; his return to play depends on his response to the rehabilitation program,″ Watkins said.

LeClair missed all but 16 regular-season games in 2000-01 after having surgery to repair a herniated disc.

He returned to play in all 82 games last season, but had a subpar year, scoring only 25 goals. LeClair has had five seasons with at least 40 goals, scoring at least 50 in three of them.

Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said he understands back surgery is tricky, but he isn’t worried about the team’s highest-paid player. He noted that LeClair was checked by three doctors before the surgery.

``We are pretty much assured that everything will be fine and John will be OK to play,″ Clarke said.

LeClair signed a five-year, $45 million contract in June 2001.

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