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Monday, March 17, 2014

Penguins' Kris Letang speaks following first practice back with team

By on 3/17/2014 05:00:00 PM

Monday morning was a relief for all Pittsburgh Penguins fans...and really anyone who was touched by Kris Letang's story.

Kris Letang suffered a stroke seven weeks ago. Doctors said he would be out a minimum of eight weeks to recover. He took it as good news in the sense at least he would not have to hang up his skates at the young age of twenty-six, but for any professional athlete who loves their job, any missed time feels like a lot.

The night the Montreal Canadiens played the Pittsburgh Penguins, was the first night he had a press conference and spoke out publicly about his stroke. He mentioned how he wasn't feeling well for about a week, skated but did not play...and that his wife found him lying on the floor, unable to move. Also in the press conference he spoke about how it is tough mentally but what is helping him is knowing he will be playing again.

Michael Miller-Wikimedia Commons
A couple of days following that interview he took the ice for the first time for a casual skate (outdoor rink). A few weeks later he was back on the ice working solo with his trainer...and today (March 17th, 2014) was the first day he skated with his team-cleared for contact.

Following the practice, Letang spoke to the media and said, "I had tests last week to see if I would be able to get off the blood thinners, and the answer was yes so that's why I am practicing today."

"The day I had the stroke I asked the doctor when I could return...and there is no doubt about it, that if I am on the ice today it is because I want to return."

Letang also said it felt pretty good to be back on the ice, but he was a little tired (interview was post practice). He said that the hole in his heart might not have been the official cause but there is no official cause either. "There was a .01% happening in the first place, it could happen again because it happened before or it could go away...not something we talked about or that will cause me to worry."

He later joked about the practice "Guys were being careful in the corner. I told them they can go as hard as they can. That's the reason I'm out there."
 and said,

There is still no timetable for Letang's return, but seeing him back with his teammates is a good sign he could be ready soon.


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