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LeClair Return Delayed

Left wing John LeClair of the Philadelphia Flyers is expected to miss 6-8 more weeks because of an infection in his surgically repaired back.

The Flyers made the estimate of LeClair's absence before Saturday night's home game against Florida.

LeClair will be fitted with a back brace and get antibiotics to fight what doctors call a "disk space infection," which is a low-grade staph infection.

"Mentally it's tough," LeClair said. "I've missed most of the year already and the prognosis is that it's going to be a little longer now and that's frustrating. Physically, I guess I don't feel that bad."

LeClair, who has played in only eight games this season, said doctors told him the pain would subside in about two weeks.

LeClair underwent back surgery Oct. 21 in Los Angeles and returned to action Nov. 26, about one week sooner than expected. He played in six games, then went back on the injured list Dec. 10 with back spasms. He hasn't played since.

On Jan. 17, LeClair was examined by Philadelphia back specialist Dr. Scott Rushton, who discovered the infection. LeClair's surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins, met with LeClair on Friday night to discuss Rushton's findings.

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