PHILADELPHIA - Danny Briere's return to the NHL is going take longer than expected.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced Wednesday that Briere will undergo an exploratory surgical procedure Thursday, putting the 31-year-old centre's return into question. Because of a groin strain, Briere saw his first action in more than a month on a recent conditioning stint with the Flyers' AHL affiliate. He had surgery Oct. 25 to fix a torn abdominal muscle and he left a Dec. 2 game against Tampa Bay with a groin injury.
He hasn't played for the Flyers since that game and has missed 30 of the last 31 contests due to injury.
"I am very disappointed," said Briere. "It's been frustrating not knowing what is going on, so we have decided to go in and check things out."
Recovery time will be a minimum of two weeks, the club said.
Briere had a goal and four assists in three games for the Phantoms. He was assigned for conditioning purposes Jan. 14.
He has registered five goals and four assists in nine games with the Flyers this season.