One good way to make sure you spend a lot of time on the injured list is to not tell the training staff what’s wrong with you when you’re hurt.
Toronto’s Colby Armstrong pulled that off nicely as he didn’t tell Leafs trainers or coach Ron Wilson that he got a concussion against Vancouver. The Globe And Mail’s David Shoalts reports that Armstrong instead told trainers he was dealing with a foot problem. Instead, Armstrong ended up giving away that he had a concussion when he became so nauseous he puked.
On the big checklist of “signs you might have a concussion” you have to believe that “throwing up” is right at the top. The Leafs going without Armstrong indefinitely means any one of Joe Colborne, Darryl Boyce, or Nazem Kadri will get the call from the minors.
Meanwhile, Armstrong is again on the shelf. Armstrong missed 23 games with an ankle injury earlier this season and was just getting back into the flow of things before this concussion setback. At least we’re assuming it was an ankle injury.
If you’re looking for a player to use as an example of how concussions can linger through a career, look no further than Minnesota’s Guillaume Latendresse.
Latendresse played just over seven minutes last night in Minnesota’s shootout loss to Chicago leaving the game with what was ultimately determined to be post-concussion syndrome. For Latendresse, it was his second game back since returning from a different concussion and his latest injury will have him shut down indefinitely as Michael Russo of The Star Tribune reports.
Latendresse has had nagging injury problems virtually his entire career but his battle with concussions is what’s bothered him the most of late. When healthy, Latendresse is a solid, physical forward capable of scoring goals in bunches. Even in last night’s game with limited playing time he had four hits.
If ever you wondered why teams are being especially careful these days in how they handle players with concussions, Latendresse is providing a great modern example why. With the Wild playing as well as they are, not having a potential weapon like Latendresse hurts.
If you’ve been wondering just what Marc Staal has been up to since being shut down during training camp with post-concussion-like symptoms, the answer is nothing at all.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Staal has been held back from any and all physical activity for the past month and is headed back to Boston to see concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu, the man who has been treating him since this fall.
Given the secrecy that’s surrounded Staal’s condition, hearing that it is indeed a concussion and that he’s had to be held back completely from physical exertion is disturbing. After all, when Staal was crushed by a hit from his brother Eric Staal last season, Marc tried to tough it out and keep playing last season only to have to sit out games at a time. Toughing it out when you’ve got a concussion only leads to bigger problems. It’s no wonder that Marc has had these problems now.
While Marc continues to be out, you have to wonder just what was going on with the Rangers’ trainers and doctors to allow him to both keep playing games and then come back to training camp this year still dealing with issues. At least they stopped him before things could get even worse, but for now the Rangers have to live with the mess they helped along in the first place.
If we haven’t learned that recovering from a concussion isn’t as easy as some might want it to be, consider the case of St. Louis Blues forward David Perron. Perron was knocked out for the season on November 4 in a game against San Jose where he received a blindside hit from San Jose’s Joe Thornton. Thornton was exiting the penalty box and he lit up Perron with an open ice hit he had no idea was coming.
Since then, Perron hasn’t been able to do much of anything aside from relay messages on Twitter and just hope that the injury sustained to his brain can continue to heal up. With the amount of time that’s taking, however, the Blues aren’t expecting to see Perron return in time for the start of this season.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong gave his update on how things are progressing with Perron to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
“David has shown improvement,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said this morning. “But it’s not to the point where he’s ready to come in and work out and start training yet. The improvement took a big jump a few months ago, but it’s been slow and steady now.
“We’re going to continue down the course we’re at right now. But where we’re at now, in the summer and with training camp, we’ve decided to just move forward with the idea that David won’t be ready for training camp … he’ll just continue to progress and when he is ready, whatever time he is ready, he’ll jump back in and start his training to resume his career. But we’re not expecting him at training camp.”
Not making it to training camp puts the clock at 10 months since Perron has been the ice and with how Armstrong is assessing things, Perron’s recovery is just rough to witness and serves as a prime example as to why concussions must always be treated with care. It can also serve as an example as to why Penguins fans should take their time in hoping that Sidney Crosby gets back.
Treating these injuries is an inexact science since people respond to them differently and the Blues will be a better team with Perron back healthy, but for now, they just have to hope that Perron can just get healthy, period. If he can get well enough to get back on the ice and play hockey again, it’s all gravy from there. For now, that feels like it’s going to be a long way off.
One of the lowlights in Game 6 between Buffalo and Philadelphia came when Flyers captain Mike Richards shoved Sabres forward Tim Connolly from behind putting him head first into the boards. Richards was given a two-minute minor for boarding and Connolly left the game with a head injury.
Given Connolly’s history with concussion problems, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be in any shape to go in Game 7, especially with how teams are treating players with concussions. So what will the Sabres do to potentially fill Connolly’s shoes? They’ll call on a player they haven’t seen in months.
Derek Roy is set to make his return to the Sabres lineup for Game 7. For Roy it’ll mark his first game since late December when he went out of action with a injured quad. Roy was the Sabres leading point man last season and having him back in the lineup should give the Sabres offense a huge lift.
When it comes to Game 7s even the least healthy of players will try to find their way back in the lineup to help their team win. In Roy’s case, his comeback is a virtual necessity. With Connolly hurting and Jason Pominville out, those are two important players to their offensive production and they’ll need all they can get in Game 7 especially with Chris Pronger back for Philly.
Getting Roy out there with Tyler Ennis, Drew Stafford, and Thomas Vanek gives the Sabres more than a few viable options on the attack and with how this series is playing out, they’re going to need all they can get.