Neurosurgeon says Alfredsson would be “doing himself a disservice” by returning from concussion


As reported earlier, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said he suffered a concussion after being elbowed by New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on Saturday.

But that’s not all he said.

Alfredsson also told reporters he might play in Game 3 on Monday, a decision that’s come under scrutiny by one of Canada’s leading neurosurgeons.

Dr. Charles Tator — a volunteer with ThinkFirst, a none-profit group that deals with brain and spinal cord injury prevention — strongly advises against Alfredsson returning too quickly from his concussion.

“It’s not what we recommend,” Tator told the National Post. “We recommend that there should be a six-step process that you go through after a concussion to determine whether you’re ready to return to play.

“So if you have 24 hours between steps, it really means a week off. In our view, to try to give the brain enough opportunity to recover, we recommend a week.”

Alfredsson will be a game-time decision tonight, despite the fact he’s now suffered two concussions in the span of six months. The Senators captain suffered the first one in October when then-Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski caught him with an elbow to the head. Alfredsson missed five games — almost two full weeks of action — as a result.

Tator expressed concern over the 39-year-old putting himself at risk with a quick return this time around.

“[Alfredsson’s] probably doing himself a disservice by coming back too early,” he said.