Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Malkin Cleared, Back at Practice Injured Star Rejoins Teammates in Drills at Optional Practice

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Malkin Cleared, Back at Practice Injured Star Rejoins Teammates in Drills at Optional Practice

Article excerpt

It turns out the memory loss that led to Evgeni Malkin being diagnosed with a concussion was selective.

Or, at least, it might seem that way to anyone who watched replays of his violent crash into the boards Feb. 22 at Consol Energy Center.

It was only that play in particular that went missing from the Penguins center's memory bank.

"I remember the whole game, just not the hit," Malkin said Sunday after taking a significant step in his recovery.

Malkin was cleared for contact. He joined 14 teammates for an optional practice at Southpointe and participated in drills that included puck battles in the corners and in front of the net.

"We saw him go through three drills designed to provide him with that contact, so he did have that down low," coach Dan Bylsma said. "He did well."

It does not seem likely Malkin will be available tonight when the Penguins play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center, but he might not be too far from returning.

"I feel pretty good right now," he said. "We'll see. Maybe I'll come back soon."

He allowed, though, that, "It was a good practice, but I need a couple more, I think. ... We'll see [about] the next step."

Malkin said he was scheduled to have an ImPACT neurocognitive test later Sunday. That will be compared with a baseline test he took before the concussion.

NHL concussion protocol requires that Malkin pass the ImPACT test and be cleared by doctors.

Malkin, 26, the defending NHL scoring champion and MVP, had skated on his own without full gear and worked out off-ice in Pittsburgh since the injury. Sunday was his first time on the ice with his teammates, who just returned from a three-game road trip.

"Evgeni is at six days of feeling real well," said Bylsma, who nevertheless is unwilling at this point to picture Malkin back in the lineup.

The club got a lesson in how unpredictable concussion recovery can be when team captain Sidney Crosby missed most of a 14-month period beginning in January 2011 because of a concussion and neck injury. Crosby spent long periods of time skating on his own or in practice without contact before he was cleared to have contact or play, and he had setbacks. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.