Swedish hockey star sidelined until January

Philadelphia Flyers center Peter Forsberg, who helped Sweden to Olympic ice hockey gold, will be off the ice until January after surgery on both feet.

After receiving a second medical opinion, Forsberg said Wednesday he hoped to go ahead with surgery early next week to his right foot, and as soon as he could walk again he would proceed with similar surgery on the left.

He would then need further rehabilitation on both to be ready to return to the National Hockey League.

Forsberg said the operations will repair damaged ligaments and straighten both feet.

“Through the years it has been getting worse and worse, and the foot is getting kind of crooked,” he said.

“The boot doesn’t fit my foot, my foot doesn’t stick in the skate, and then I can’t skate.”

He said the problem was worse in his right foot, but was also apparent in the left.

“As soon as my right foot is healed up we are going to do the left one, and it might be four to six weeks before I can do that,” he said.

“You get the second one done, and then start rehabbing. I think we are actually aiming for the first of January,” Forsberg said of his estimated return date to the NHL.

Forsberg, 32, battled a groin injury earlier this season, missing games in November and December as well as eight games for the Flyers prior to the Turin Olympics in February.

He was able to play in Turin, however, helping Sweden seize Olympic gold.

“I feel as bad as anybody that I have to get this done,” he said.

“I didn’t want it to happen, and with all the injuries before, it’s a tough situation. But on the other hand, I know it’s going to be good, and I know I can be better then I was.”