Staal’s absence from camp activities on Monday sent Rangers fans into a fit of panic, and head coach John Tortorella admitted that the team was examining options for another defenseman to bring into the fold. Tortella spoke to the media about Staal’s symptoms, but remained optimistic that the 24-year old would see some exhibition action when the team heads to Europe to prepare for their season opener, stressing that the club has time on its side:
“He just didn’t feel good today. We talked to the trainers and we figured we’d just back off and keep him off (the ice) today. This is the process we’re going to go through, and try to help him through it. We’re erring on the side of caution. We have time, and I am hoping we can get him in some exhibition games overseas. So we’re going to be patient here and see if we can get him through this.”
Seeing the 6’4″ defenseman take the ice for drills on Tuesday was a welcome sign for the Rangers, but they’ll continue to keep an eye on him and hold him out of scrimmages until the headaches subside.
Staal on struggling with post-concussion symptoms, via Blueshirts United:
“I couldn’t get through my workouts at the start of the summer because of the headaches, but it has been steadily improving since. It’s frustrating. It’s something I’ve never had before, but I’ve been improving quite a bit the past 2-3 weeks, so I’m just hoping it keeps heading in that direction.”
Compounding the misery of being forced to sit out of a day of training camp is the source of Staal’s struggles, the concussion he suffered in February came in a game versus the Carolina Hurricanes at the hands of his older brother Eric. The eldest NHL Staal expressed his concern for his brother’s health and hopes to see him back at 100% soon.
In four NHL seasons, Staal has missed just seven games. We’ll continue to monitor the newswire as he works his way back to full health in hopes of being ready to start the season.