In a conference call with reporters last night, Emery sounded stunned by the developments and acknowledged that he would have a difficult road back to the NHL.
Emery said doctors have told him the success rate for the surgery is 95 percent, but said that was for "being mobile [again], not playing professional sports."
The surgery will be performed by David Ruch at Duke University Medical Center.
"It's something I have to get done, and after that I'll do my best to get back," Emery said.
Emery had a 16-11-1 record with a 2.64 goals-against average and .905 save percentage, including three shutouts, in 29 appearances this season.
He missed nearly six weeks earlier this season after having abdominal surgery. Emery returned from that injury Jan. 17 and made eight straight starts.
Emery blanked Calgary, 3-0, in his last start Feb. 1. That gave him a 2.17 GAA in his last eight starts.
But the pain in his hip flared, and Emery never returned to the net. The Flyers had hoped the rest during the Olympic break would enable him to recover.
"We're going to miss him because when he was healthy, he was very good," coach Peter Laviolette said after last night's 7-2 win over Tampa Bay. "It's unfortunate this happened, but, hopefully, he recovers and gets some good news with the surgery."
Emery said in retrospect, he thinks the hip problem is what caused his abdominal injury.
"Your hips start to get out of whack and everything else tries to compensate for it. Before I had the surgery, it was my abdominals, but the next day I felt my groin was pulled on one side and then my groin was pulled on the other side," he said. "There was always something just not feeling right.
"When your hips are out, I think everything comes from that. It just got to be very frustrating, and was frustrating when I was playing. I had the feeling that something was wrong."
Emery called the injury "a genetic kind of thing. You have it, and it can come up when you're older or younger, depending on how much you use it. You can't control something that's genetic."
"Basically, it is just a dead bone at the top, and slowly it starts to deteriorate," Emery said. "Three weeks ago they noticed that there was some deterioration and they thought that this is what it was. Then, you have to wait three weeks to see how fast it's progressing. Yesterday, they did another MRI, and it has progressed to the point that [with] any athletic activity, they think that it's going to collapse."
Asked if he thought his career was in jeopardy, Emery said: "I don't know. It's not good. It's not something that I expected to happen. I'm 27 years old, and didn't even think I had played my best hockey so far. But things pop up, and you have to work through them. The next step is to get it fixed and then after that I have to work to get back."
The injury means that waiver-wire-wonder Michael Leighton will be the No. 1 goalie unless the Flyers make a deal before today's 3 p.m. deadline. Leighton has been superb since the Flyers claimed him off re-entry waivers from Carolina on Dec. 15. Brian Boucher is his backup.
"We feel comfortable with the current pair," a Flyers official said last night. "If something attractive pops up, I guess we would look at it, but we are prepared to go with the current pair."
The Flyers took a gamble on Emery in the off-season, signing him to a $1.5 million one-year deal. He had a stormy career in Ottawa before being, in effect, banished to play in Russia last season when no NHL teams wanted him.
The Flyers say they will consider signing Emery for next season, but that seems like a long shot.
Emery said he would love to re-sign with the Flyers, but he sounded realistic when he added, "this is quite a procedure, though. I'm sure if I get a chance to come back and play, I will have to prove myself. I love playing here. I love the guys and I love the city. It's a great thing to be a part of. I still feel like I'm a part of it, but it's disappointing right now."
Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or email@example.com.