Boston Bruins star Marc Savard took time out this morning to speak with media about the lingering effects of post-concussion syndrome that he’s dealing with. Savard being sidelined comes as a surprise to most fans because he returned to the Bruins lineup during the playoffs, yet now he’s not even skating with the team and there’s no timetable set for when he will return.
An anonymous report on Tuesday said that it was possible Savard could miss the season because of post-concussion syndrome, but the Bruins denied that and wanted to clear the air today. Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe gets the word on how bad off Marc Savard is.
”I think everything you just summed up there,” said Savard, when a Globe reporter asked if he were dealing with nausea, headache, dizziness, seeing spots, depression, among the more common issues related to concussions and often PCS. “I’ve had issues with everything so far, so….like I said, I have to see the doctors, get the help that I need and go from there.”
On follow-up, when asked which of the symptoms he finds hardest to deal with, Savard noted depression.
”Oh, probably the depression part,” he said, his tone noticeably somber, his emotions clearly stirred. ”That’s probably the toughest, so….that’s it.”
With that kind of laundry list of symptoms he’s still dealing with, the question then comes into play (at least it should) about whether or not he was dealing with these effects when he suited up against the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs last season. As it turns out, he most certainly was.
”I had huge fatigue problems during [the Flyer} series,” he said. ”Especially when [David Krejci] got hurt…I think it was Game 4 that I played 27 minutes. I pretty much should have been sitting [in the press box] after that….I didn’t have anything left.”
In conversations with a doctor, said Savard, he was made aware again that head injuries differ dramatically from, say, a knee injury.
”I guess with your brain and your head,” said Savard, again noting what maybe was a premature return to the lineup in May, ”that probably wasn’t the best thing to do.”
Analyzing and diagnosing problems and other effects of post-concussion syndrome is a slowly evolving science and one that many physicians still aren’t totally sure about. That said, given how violent Savard’s injury was at the hands of Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke and given the severity of the injury itself (initially diagnosed as a Grade 2 concussion) more care should have been taken to ensure Savard’s well-being on the ice.
After all, it was just over a month of action that Savard missed and while in our minds that seems like a fair amount of time to be out, the pressure of wanting to help your team in the playoffs coupled with the desire to get back on the ice anyhow can cloud everyone’s better judgment.
The latest updates from Savard on how he’s doing should be a warning flag for physicians that they need to better evaluate their means of making sure a player is cleared to play again because this only makes us look back on the decision on clearing him to play look extremely reckless.