Defenseman Kris Letang will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins for their game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, 10 weeks after suffering a stroke.
“After a lot of different news about our players and injuries, finally some good news,” said GM Ray Shero.
The 26-year-old defenseman last played on Jan. 27. He missed five games with a “mystery injury” before it was revealed that he had suffered a stroke.
Letang was cleared for weeks by doctors, practicing with the Penguins in full contact workouts. The Penguins left it up to Letang to decide when he was ready to return, having been told by the doctors that hockey wasn’t the source of his medical malady. That said, they kept him out a little longer even after he was “begging to come back.”
“We have assurance, and he has assurance, that hockey did not cause the stroke. Playing tonight vs. playing in October or 10 years from now it’s going to change that. Resting and playing Xbox isn’t going to make him better,” said Shero.
“I’m not implying that he plays Xbox.”
Glad he cleared that up.
Shero admitted that he’ll be nervous watching Letang, as he is whenever a player comes back from a significant injury. But he's cautiously optimistic that Letang will have a positive effect on the Penguins.
"We know that a healthy Kris Letang makes us better, but we'll wait and see," he said. "Kris has been through a traumatic event. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves."