Kris Letang has not played for the Pittsburgh Penguins since Jan. 27, and there has been some mystery as to why he was out the lineup. On Friday, the team released the surprising news that the 26-year old defenseman had recently suffered a stroke.
Letang will be treated with blood thinners and the belief, at the moment, is that this is not career-threatening. But he will miss at least the next six weeks.
“Kris had one brief episode of dizziness and nausea last week,” Shero said. “We held him out of the Los Angeles game Thursday night, and when he continued to feel ill, tests conducted in Phoenix on Saturday gave us the first indication of his condition. Further testing then was conducted when he returned to Pittsburgh, and he continued to undergo a battery of tests here this week.”
An examination also revealed to doctors that Letang had a small hole in his heart, something that he's had since birth, a potential factor in why this happened.
Letang has not played in Pittsburgh's last five games after traveling with the team to Los Angeles last month, but not playing against the Kings. The Penguins defenseman had missed 19 other games this season with an elbow infection and knee injury.
Pittsburgh plays its last game before the Olympic break Friday against the New York Rangers. They'll return to action on Feb. 27 against Montreal.
Letang will receive treatment over the next six weeks and then be re-evaluated by physicians at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
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