Rick Nash has not played for the New York Rangers since sustaining his second concussion since February during a game against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 8. There were questions about his future when weeks went by and he remained sidelined; but on Tuesday the 29-year old forward skated for the fourth consecutive day, a great sign in his comeback.
Speaking to the media afterward, Nash said that he's been symptom-free and plans to continue skating each day to further evaluate his condition.
In October, Nash visited neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher in Michigan, who gave him the encouraging news that he didn't see any long-term effects.
Kutcher is the director of the NBA’s concussion program, a consultant to both the NHL Players’ Association’s concussion working group and the USA Hockey development program, the founder of the University of Michigan NeuroSport program, and a consultant with the Wolverines’ football team.
Nash said he visited Kutcher about five days after sustaining his second concussion in eight months on a headshot by San Jose Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart. From that point, Kutcher joined a support staff caring for Nash that also included the Rangers’ team doctors and trainer Jim Ramsay.
"At the end of the day we all have the same goal: for the team to win and for me to be a piece of that," Nash said. "Everyone's been on the same page, which has been great."
This was Nash's first time at the newly-renovated Madison Square Garden. He stayed away because he was still experiencing symptoms.
While Nash is picking up the intensity of his daily workouts, the fact that the Rangers have won six of their last seven games isn't making him antsy to rush back into the lineup.
"When you look at it, New York's invested a lot in me and I've invested a lot in them, so even if we were losing I think it'd be stupid to rush back just because of that," Nash said.
"It's a long-term contract and we want to make sure from both sides that I come back at 110-percent and ready to play."
UPDATE: The Rangers have announced that Nash will join the team for a full practice on Wednesday for the first time since October.
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