Pens’ Ehrhoff ‘wasn’t really close’ to returning

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff admitted Sunday that he was never really close to returning to the lineup during the first round series against the Rangers.

Ehrhoff, who had been out of the lineup since March 24 with a concussion, was cleared for contact on April 14.

“I’m still trying to get back from a concussion,” Ehrhoff said per Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s been a long road back with the multiple concussions I had along the season.

“I was getting better and started skating with the team again and had some setbacks. So I had to shut it down again.”

Ehrhoff suffered his first concussion in January following a collision with Caps’ captain Alex Ovechkin. He suffered his second concussion in a loss against the Blues.

Ehrhoff was limited to just 49 games this season where he had three goals and 14 points while averaging 21:46 in ice time.

“I don’t really know where I am (health wise),” he said. “Obviously I have some more time to get it really (healed). But I wasn’t really close.”

The 32-year-old signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pens after being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres.

Ehrhoff, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in July, said “there’s definitely interest” in remaining with the Penguins, but there have been no contract talks as of yet.