Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stastny Back on the Ice, but He's Not Ready to Play Yet

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stastny Back on the Ice, but He's Not Ready to Play Yet

Article excerpt

Paul Stastny was back on the ice with the Blues on Tuesday morning, but his head still hurt too much for him to be on the ice Tuesday night. He hopes that by Thursday, that will change.

"Every day's gotten a little better," he said after taking part in the team's morning skate. "I'm still a little foggy. I feel little things in my head here and there, so I'm not going to risk anything until my head's cleared up. So if everything goes well, practice (Wednesday), play Thursday. It's one of those things where I'll take it day by day."

Stastny suffered a deep gash in his left cheek when a shot by teammate Alexander Steen deflected off an Anaheim player's skate Friday and caught him in the head. The cut was deep enough that he's got two layers of stitches in his cheek, one on the inside of the wound, one on the outside, and it took a doctor 25 minutes to do all the needlework. Asked if anything was broken, Stastny would only say that nothing was displaced, which would have required surgery.

And still, Stastny feels he got away lucky. If the puck had hit slightly higher, it could have caught Stastny in the eye. Lower, it could have broken his jaw.

"This could have been worse," he said. "It could have been a six- to eight-week thing or a career-ender. The fact that it might be a couple games, you look on the bright side. Everyone gets weird bounces. That's how it goes sometimes."

"It could have been way worse," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Whoof, it could have been way worse. Lucky. You're looking at getting a puck there, painful as it is, it's the best-case scenario. The absolute best-case scenario happened to him. There were five other scenarios that could have happened to him that he would have really been long-term on this."

Stastny said he did not have a concussion, that his headaches were connected to muscles in his head. …

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