Monday, November 21, 2011

Heading in the right direction: Marc Staal cleared for light physical activity

The Rangers won't confirm any of this - they never do - but we are reading that Ranger defenseman Marc Staal - who has missed the entire season with post concussion syndrome - has finally been cleared by concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu to resume "light physical activity".

The NHL in general - and the New York Rangers in particular - do not like to give a lot of information about player injuries - often keeping the public diagnosis as general as "upper body" or "lower body" injury.

It always seems kind of over-secretive and silly. But there is an unfortunate logic to this tactic. It's a league where players hit one another - slash each other with sticks - and get in lengthy fist fights with each other during games - it puts your players at a distinct disadvantage to tell their opponents where their injuries are located. (It's like placing a sign on the injury that reads "hit me here")

In the case of Marc Staal - there is not a whole lot of information flowing out of midtown. But if Marc is cleared for light activity this is very very good news,

Still - if you're thinking Marc is close to resuming his season - think again. Sidney Crosby is finally getting set to return 6 weeks after getting cleared for contact. Marc Stall is NOT cleared to get hit - only to skate around.

So we are looking at months and months before any possible return for our top defender.

Still - it's great news - not just for the Hockey player - but for the human being. (And yes - there is a difference)

Because we can guess that Marc's life has been a living hell. There's nowhere to hide from a brain injury - you can be in a distressing mental fog for months. If Marc can skate again it means his symptoms are starting to subside - at least when he's sitting still. And that's a very welcome turn of events - even if Staal never gets back on the ice this season - or - well, let's not go there just yet.

Anyway - good luck Marc - and continued improvement.

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