Vokoun medically cleared for action following blood clot issue

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NHL practices resumed today and the Pittsburgh Penguins had a new-old face on the ice at their session.

Goalie Tomas Vokoun was medically cleared after being out since September with a blood clot issue and took part in team practice in Pittsburgh. As Sam Kasan of the Penguins’ site shares, Vokoun is happy to get back out there.

“My agenda is practice and see how I feel and how it goes. Take it one day at a time,” Vokoun said. “It’s pretty much left open. I’m trying to get back, see how I feel. Make sure (it) holds up.”

Vokoun, 37,  said he’ll push himself as hard as he can to get back in the Penguins’ lineup. Jeff Zatkoff took over for him as the backup behind Marc-Andre Fleury when his blood clot issue was discovered.

Vokoun said he nearly died from the problem that arose in September. Since having the blood clot dissolved, he was put on blood thinners right away and has been off them since mid-January. It was then that he returned to the ice to skate, but now he’s back to facing shots.

Zatkoff has performed admirably in Vokoun’s absence, but if they can get the veteran goalie back before the end of the season, the Pens would enjoy giving Fleury a few extra nights off to prepare for the playoffs.